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Sample records for bee pollinators increases

  1. Native bees pollinate tomato flowers and increase fruit production

    OpenAIRE

    Barbara Araújo Ribeiro Bergamini; Marcos Antônio Elias; Flaviana Gomes Lima; Bruno Bastos Gonçalves; Leonardo Lima Bergamini; Carlos Melo Silva Neto; Edivani Villaron Franceschinelli

    2013-01-01

    The tomato plant has a specific relationship with native pollinators because the form of its flowers is adapted to buzz pollination carried out by some pollen-gatherer bees that vibrate their indirect flight muscles to obtain that floral resource. The absence and the low density of these bees in tomato fields can lead to pollination deficits for crop. The aim of this study is to demonstrate that open tomato flowers, probably visited by native pollinator, have greater pollen load on their stig...

  2. Native bees pollinate tomato flowers and increase fruit production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Araújo Ribeiro Bergamini

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The tomato plant has a specific relationship with native pollinators because the form of its flowers is adapted to buzz pollination carried out by some pollen-gatherer bees that vibrate their indirect flight muscles to obtain that floral resource. The absence and the low density of these bees in tomato fields can lead to pollination deficits for crop. The aim of this study is to demonstrate that open tomato flowers, probably visited by native pollinator, have greater pollen load on their stigma than unvisited flowers. Another objective is to show that this great pollen load increases fruit production. We selected crops of the Italian tomato cultivar in areas of the State of Goiás, Brazil. Thirty seven plants of three crops each had one inflorescence bagged in the field. Bagged and non-bagged flowers had their stigmas collected and the amount of pollen on their surfaces was quantified. For the comparison of fruit production, we monitored bagged and not-bagged inflorescences and after 40 days, their fruits were counted, weighed, measured and had their seeds counted. The amount of pollen grains on the stigma of flowers available to pollinators was higher than that on the stigma of bagged flowers. On average, fruit production was larger in not-bagged inflorescences than in bagged inflorescences. In addition, not-bagged flowers produced heavier fruits than did bagged flowers. There was a significant difference in the number of seeds between treatments, with significantly more seeds in the non-bagged fruit. Our results show that native bees buzz-pollinate tomato flowers, increasing the pollen load on their stigma and consequently fruit production and quality.

  3. Functional group diversity of bee pollinators increases crop yield

    OpenAIRE

    Hoehn, Patrick; Tscharntke, Teja; Tylianakis, Jason M.; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2008-01-01

    Niche complementarity is a commonly invoked mechanism underlying the positive relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, but little empirical evidence exists for complementarity among pollinator species. This study related differences in three functional traits of pollinating bees (flower height preference, daily time of flower visitation and within-flower behaviour) to the seed set of the obligate cross-pollinated pumpkin Cucurbita moschata Duch. ex Poir. across a land-use ...

  4. Functional group diversity of bee pollinators increases crop yield.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoehn, Patrick; Tscharntke, Teja; Tylianakis, Jason M; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2008-10-01

    Niche complementarity is a commonly invoked mechanism underlying the positive relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, but little empirical evidence exists for complementarity among pollinator species. This study related differences in three functional traits of pollinating bees (flower height preference, daily time of flower visitation and within-flower behaviour) to the seed set of the obligate cross-pollinated pumpkin Cucurbita moschata Duch. ex Poir. across a land-use intensity gradient from tropical rainforest and agroforests to grassland in Indonesia. Bee richness and abundance changed with habitat variables and we used this natural variation to test whether complementary resource use by the diverse pollinator community enhanced final yield. We found that pollinator diversity, but not abundance, was positively related to seed set of pumpkins. Bees showed species-specific spatial and temporal variation in flower visitation traits and within-flower behaviour, allowing for classification into functional guilds. Diversity of functional groups explained even more of the variance in seed set (r2=45%) than did species richness (r2=32%) highlighting the role of functional complementarity. Even though we do not provide experimental, but rather correlative evidence, we can link spatial and temporal complementarity in highly diverse pollinator communities to pollination success in the field, leading to enhanced crop yield without any managed honeybees. PMID:18595841

  5. Wild bees and pollination

    OpenAIRE

    Pfiffner, Lukas; Müller, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    The fact sheet summarizes the current state of academic knowledge on the importance of wild bees in the pollination of wild and cultivated plants. It mentions the known causes for the decline of wild bees, describes the effects of organic farming and lists necessary measures for promotion and protection of the pollinators.

  6. Helping agricultural pollination & bees in farmland

    OpenAIRE

    Balfour, Nicholas James

    2016-01-01

    Previous research has shown that bees are vital to crop pollination. However, modern agricultural practices are occupying an increasing share of the world's land area and have been heavily linked to declining bee populations. This thesis explores: i) the foraging behaviour of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) and its influence on crop pollination, and ii) the impact of current farmland management on bees and other flower visiting insects. Chapter 3 demonstrates, via waggle dance decoding, tha...

  7. Native bees and plant pollination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginsberg, H.S.

    2004-01-01

    Bees are important pollinators, but evidence suggests that numbers of some species are declining. Decreases have been documented in the honey bee, Apis mellifera (which was introduced to North America), but there are no monitoring programs for the vast majority of native species, so we cannot be sure about the extent of this problem. Recent efforts to develop standardized protocols for bee sampling will help us collect the data needed to assess trends in bee populations. Unfortunately, diversity of bee life cycles and phenologies, and the large number of rare species, make it difficult to assess trends in bee faunas. Changes in bee populations can affect plant reproduction, which can influence plant population density and cover, thus potentially modifying horizontal and vertical structure of a community, microclimate near the ground, patterns of nitrogen deposition, etc. These potential effects of changes in pollination patterns have not been assessed in natural communities. Effects of management actions on bees and other pollinators should be considered in conservation planning.

  8. Synergistic effects of non-Apis bees and honey bees for pollination services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brittain, Claire; Williams, Neal; Kremen, Claire; Klein, Alexandra-Maria

    2013-03-01

    In diverse pollinator communities, interspecific interactions may modify the behaviour and increase the pollination effectiveness of individual species. Because agricultural production reliant on pollination is growing, improving pollination effectiveness could increase crop yield without any increase in agricultural intensity or area. In California almond, a crop highly dependent on honey bee pollination, we explored the foraging behaviour and pollination effectiveness of honey bees in orchards with simple (honey bee only) and diverse (non-Apis bees present) bee communities. In orchards with non-Apis bees, the foraging behaviour of honey bees changed and the pollination effectiveness of a single honey bee visit was greater than in orchards where non-Apis bees were absent. This change translated to a greater proportion of fruit set in these orchards. Our field experiments show that increased pollinator diversity can synergistically increase pollination service, through species interactions that alter the behaviour and resulting functional quality of a dominant pollinator species. These results of functional synergy between species were supported by an additional controlled cage experiment with Osmia lignaria and Apis mellifera. Our findings highlight a largely unexplored facilitative component of the benefit of biodiversity to ecosystem services, and represent a way to improve pollinator-dependent crop yields in a sustainable manner. PMID:23303545

  9. Impact of Bee Species and Plant Density on Alfalfa Pollination and Potential for Gene Flow

    OpenAIRE

    Johanne Brunet; Stewart, Christy M.

    2010-01-01

    In outcrossing crops like alfalfa, various bee species can contribute to pollination and gene flow in seed production fields. With the increasing use of transgenic crops, it becomes important to determine the role of these distinct pollinators on alfalfa pollination and gene flow. The current study examines the relative contribution of honeybees, three bumble bee species, and three solitary bee species to pollination and gene flow in alfalfa. Two wild solitary bee species and one wild bumble ...

  10. Large Carpenter Bees as Agricultural Pollinators

    OpenAIRE

    Tamar Keasar

    2010-01-01

    Large carpenter bees (genus Xylocopa) are wood-nesting generalist pollinators of broad geographical distribution that exhibit varying levels of sociality. Their foraging is characterized by a wide range of food plants, long season of activity, tolerance of high temperatures, and activity under low illumination levels. These traits make them attractive candidates for agricultural pollination in hot climates, particularly in greenhouses, and of night-blooming crops. Carpenter bees have demonstr...

  11. Non-bee insects are important contributors to global crop pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rader, Romina; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Garibaldi, Lucas A; Garratt, Michael P D; Howlett, Brad G; Winfree, Rachael; Cunningham, Saul A; Mayfield, Margaret M; Arthur, Anthony D; Andersson, Georg K S; Bommarco, Riccardo; Brittain, Claire; Carvalheiro, Luísa G; Chacoff, Natacha P; Entling, Martin H; Foully, Benjamin; Freitas, Breno M; Gemmill-Herren, Barbara; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Griffin, Sean R; Gross, Caroline L; Herbertsson, Lina; Herzog, Felix; Hipólito, Juliana; Jaggar, Sue; Jauker, Frank; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Kleijn, David; Krishnan, Smitha; Lemos, Camila Q; Lindström, Sandra A M; Mandelik, Yael; Monteiro, Victor M; Nelson, Warrick; Nilsson, Lovisa; Pattemore, David E; Pereira, Natália de O; Pisanty, Gideon; Potts, Simon G; Reemer, Menno; Rundlöf, Maj; Sheffield, Cory S; Scheper, Jeroen; Schüepp, Christof; Smith, Henrik G; Stanley, Dara A; Stout, Jane C; Szentgyörgyi, Hajnalka; Taki, Hisatomo; Vergara, Carlos H; Viana, Blandina F; Woyciechowski, Michal

    2016-01-01

    Wild and managed bees are well documented as effective pollinators of global crops of economic importance. However, the contributions by pollinators other than bees have been little explored despite their potential to contribute to crop production and stability in the face of environmental change. Non-bee pollinators include flies, beetles, moths, butterflies, wasps, ants, birds, and bats, among others. Here we focus on non-bee insects and synthesize 39 field studies from five continents that directly measured the crop pollination services provided by non-bees, honey bees, and other bees to compare the relative contributions of these taxa. Non-bees performed 25-50% of the total number of flower visits. Although non-bees were less effective pollinators than bees per flower visit, they made more visits; thus these two factors compensated for each other, resulting in pollination services rendered by non-bees that were similar to those provided by bees. In the subset of studies that measured fruit set, fruit set increased with non-bee insect visits independently of bee visitation rates, indicating that non-bee insects provide a unique benefit that is not provided by bees. We also show that non-bee insects are not as reliant as bees on the presence of remnant natural or seminatural habitat in the surrounding landscape. These results strongly suggest that non-bee insect pollinators play a significant role in global crop production and respond differently than bees to landscape structure, probably making their crop pollination services more robust to changes in land use. Non-bee insects provide a valuable service and provide potential insurance against bee population declines. PMID:26621730

  12. Bee-Wild about Pollinators!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Bonnie; Kil, Jenny; Evans, Elaine; Koomen, Michele Hollingsworth

    2014-01-01

    With their sunny stripes and fuzzy bodies, bees are beloved--but unfortunately, they are in trouble. Bee decline, of both wild bees as well as managed bees like honey bees, has been in the news for the last several years. Habitat loss, diseases, pests, and pesticides have made it difficult for bees to survive in many parts of our world (Walsh…

  13. Linking pollination effectiveness and interspecific displacement success in bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, M; Saeed, S; Sajjad, A; Akbar, A

    2015-04-01

    Pollen deposition, a surrogate for bee efficiency, becomes increasingly important during their interspecific interactions. We conducted field experiments on highly cross-pollinated melon (Cucumis melo) and watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) in order to understand how bee species with different pollination efficiencies displace each other from floral resources. We observed significant displacement of less abundant but more efficient bees by the more abundant but less efficient bees in both crops, which may lead to deficient pollination. We did not find significant relationship of the bee displacement success and body size or abundance. Apis florea (Fabricius) and Nomia sp.2 (Latreille) had significantly more winner events in melon, while the former also had significantly more winner events in watermelon. A. florea was the only bee species that foraged mostly within the 1-m(2) virtual area after their displacement, which may indicate its behavior of geitinogamous pollination. The two bee species, Ceratina sexmaculata (Smith) and Lasioglossum sp. (Curtis), were more sensitive to displacement as their proportion of leaving the 1-m(2) virtual area was higher. PMID:26013126

  14. Diversity of wild bees supports pollination services in an urbanized landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowenstein, David M; Matteson, Kevin C; Minor, Emily S

    2015-11-01

    Plantings in residential neighborhoods can support wild pollinators. However, it is unknown how effectively wild pollinators maintain pollination services in small, urban gardens with diverse floral resources. We used a 'mobile garden' experimental design, whereby potted plants of cucumber, eggplant, and purple coneflower were brought to 30 residential yards in Chicago, IL, USA, to enable direct assessment of pollination services provided by wild pollinator communities. We measured fruit and seed set and investigated the effect of within-yard characteristics and adjacent floral resources on plant pollination. Increased pollinator visitation and taxonomic richness generally led to increases in fruit and seed set for all focal plants. Furthermore, fruit and seed set were correlated across the three species, suggesting that pollination services vary across the landscape in ways that are consistent among different plant species. Plant species varied in terms of which pollinator groups provided the most visits and benefit for pollination. Cucumber pollination was linked to visitation by small sweat bees (Lasioglossum spp.), whereas eggplant pollination was linked to visits by bumble bees. Purple coneflower was visited by the most diverse group of pollinators and, perhaps due to this phenomenon, was more effectively pollinated in florally-rich gardens. Our results demonstrate how a diversity of wild bees supports pollination of multiple plant species, highlighting the importance of pollinator conservation within cities. Non-crop resources should continue to be planted in urban gardens, as these resources have a neutral and potentially positive effect on crop pollination. PMID:26187241

  15. Flight activity of 4-lb Australian package bee colonies used for almond pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Increasing acreage of almonds in California has increased the demand for honey bee colonies for pollination. Since 2005, domestic U.S. colonies have been supplemented with colonies started from package bees imported from Australia. The need for almond pollination in late winter in California fits we...

  16. Enhanced production of parthenocarpic cucumbers pollinated with stingless bees and Africanized honey bees in greenhouses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Euclides Braga Malheiros

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Crops have different levels of dependence on pollinators; this holds true even for cultivars of the same species, as in the case of cucumber (Cucumis sativus. The aim of this research was to assess the attractiveness of flowers of three Japanese parthenocarpic cucumber cultivars and evaluate the importance of Africanized bees (Apis mellifera, and the Brazilian native stingless bees, Jataí (Tetragonisca angustula and Iraí (Nannotrigona testaceicornis on fruit production. Several parameters, including frequency of bee visits to flowers as well as duration of nectar collection and fruit set were examined; additionally, fruit weight, length and diameter were evaluated. Three greenhouses located in Ribeirão Preto, SP, were used for planting three cucumber cultivars (Hokushin, Yoshinari and Soudai. The female flowers were more attractive than male flowers; however, Jataí bees were not observed visiting the flowers. The Africanized and the Iraí bees collected only nectar, with a visitation peak between 10 and 12h. Visits to female flowers had a longer duration than visits to male flower visits in all three cultivars. Africanized bee colonies declined due to loss of bees while in the greenhouse; the native stingless bee colonies did not suffer these losses. When bees were excluded, fruit set was 78%; however, when bees had access to the flowers, fruit set was significantly (19.2% higher. Fruit size and weight did not differ with and without bees. This demonstrates that even in parthenocarpic cucumber cultivars, which do not require pollination in order to from fruits, fruit production is significantly increased by bee pollination.

  17. Stingless bees further improve apple pollination and production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blandina Felipe Viana

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The use of Africanised honeybee (Apis mellifera scutellata Lepeletier hives to increase pollination success in apple orchards is a widespread practice. However, this study is the first to investigate the number of honeybee hives ha-1 required to increase the production of fruits and seeds as well as the potential contribution of the stingless bee Mandaçaia (Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides Lepeletier. We performed tests in a 43-ha apple orchard located in the municipality of Ibicoara (13º24’50.7’’S and 41º17’7.4’’W in Chapada Diamantina, State of Bahia, Brazil. In 2011, fruits from the Eva variety set six seeds on average, and neither a greater number of hives (from 7 to 11 hives ha-1 nor a greater number of pollen collectors at the honeybee hives displayed general effects on the seed number. Without wild pollinators, seven Africanised honeybee hives ha-1 with pollen collectors is currently the best option for apple producers because no further increase in the seed number was observed with higher hive densities. In 2012, supplementation with both stingless bees (12 hives ha-1 and Africanised honeybees (7 hives ha-1 provided higher seed and fruit production than supplementation with honeybees (7 hives ha-1 alone. Therefore, the stingless bee can improve the performance of honeybee as a pollinator of apple flowers, since the presence of both of these bees results in increases in apple fruit and seed number.

  18. Bee pollination improves crop quality, shelf life and commercial value

    OpenAIRE

    Björn K. Klatt; Holzschuh, Andrea; Westphal, Catrin; Clough, Yann; Smit, Inga; Pawelzik, Elke; Tscharntke, Teja

    2015-01-01

    Pollination improves the yield of most crop species and contributes to one-third of global crop production, but comprehensive benefits including crop quality are still unknown. Hence, pollination is underestimated by international policies, which is particularly alarming in times of agricultural intensification and diminishing pollination services. In this study, exclusion experiments with strawberries showed bee pollination to improve fruit quality, quantity and market value compared with wi...

  19. Pollination services enhanced with urbanization despite increasing pollinator parasitism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theodorou, Panagiotis; Radzevičiūtė, Rita; Settele, Josef; Schweiger, Oliver; Murray, Tomás E; Paxton, Robert J

    2016-06-29

    Animal-mediated pollination is required for the reproduction of the majority of angiosperms, and pollinators are therefore essential for ecosystem functioning and the economy. Two major threats to insect pollinators are anthropogenic land-use change and the spread of pathogens, whose effects may interact to impact pollination. Here, we investigated the relative effects on the ecosystem service of pollination of (i) land-use change brought on by agriculture and urbanization as well as (ii) the prevalence of pollinator parasites, using experimental insect pollinator-dependent plant species in natural pollinator communities. We found that pollinator habitat (i.e. availability of nesting resources for ground-nesting bees and local flower richness) was strongly related to flower visitation rates at the local scale and indirectly influenced plant pollination success. At the landscape scale, pollination was positively related to urbanization, both directly and indirectly via elevated visitation rates. Bumblebees were the most abundant pollinator group visiting experimental flowers. Prevalence of trypanosomatids, such as the common bumblebee parasite Crithidia bombi, was higher in urban compared with agricultural areas, a relationship which was mediated through higher Bombus abundance. Yet, we did not find any top-down, negative effects of bumblebee parasitism on pollination. We conclude that urban areas can be places of high transmission of both pollen and pathogens. PMID:27335419

  20. Distance from forest edge affects bee pollinators in oilseed rape fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Samantha; Requier, Fabrice; Nusillard, Benoît; Roberts, Stuart P M; Potts, Simon G; Bouget, Christophe

    2014-01-01

    Wild pollinators have been shown to enhance the pollination of Brassica napus (oilseed rape) and thus increase its market value. Several studies have previously shown that pollination services are greater in crops adjoining forest patches or other seminatural habitats than in crops completely surrounded by other crops. In this study, we investigated the specific importance of forest edges in providing potential pollinators in B. napus fields in two areas in France. Bees were caught with yellow pan traps at increasing distances from both warm and cold forest edges into B. napus fields during the blooming period. A total of 4594 individual bees, representing six families and 83 taxa, were collected. We found that both bee abundance and taxa richness were negatively affected by the distance from forest edge. However, responses varied between bee groups and edge orientations. The ITD (Inter-Tegular distance) of the species, a good proxy for bee foraging range, seems to limit how far the bees can travel from the forest edge. We found a greater abundance of cuckoo bees (Nomada spp.) of Andrena spp. and Andrena spp. males at forest edges, which we assume indicate suitable nesting sites, or at least mating sites, for some abundant Andrena species and their parasites (Fig. 1). Synthesis and Applications. This study provides one of the first examples in temperate ecosystems of how forest edges may actually act as a reservoir of potential pollinators and directly benefit agricultural crops by providing nesting or mating sites for important early spring pollinators. Policy-makers and land managers should take forest edges into account and encourage their protection in the agricultural matrix to promote wild bees and their pollination services. PMID:24634722

  1. Wild bee abundance and pollination service in cultivated pumpkins: farm management, nesting behavior and landscape effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Julier, H Esther; Roulston, Tai H

    2009-04-01

    Recent declines in managed and feral honey bee populations have greatly increased interest in the current and potential role of wild pollinators in agricultural pollination. Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) has great potential to be served by wild pollinators because of a reliable and widespread group of bee species that are commonly associated with their flowers, including bumble bees (Bombus spp.), and, in the Americas, two genera of specialist ground nesting bees (Peponapis and Xenoglossa). We examined the effects of several key farm management practices and landscape variables on bee abundance in pumpkin on 20 farms in Virginia and Maryland during summer 2006. We evaluated bee abundance with respect to tillage, irrigation practices, soil properties, natural habitat (forest and grassland), flowering crop, and disturbed areas. Additionally, we examined nest site preference (within or outside of crop areas) of Peponapis pruinosa (Say) at one farm and in a large screenhouse. We found P. pruinosa nesting preferentially within crop areas and near the vines and leaves of their host plant. Although these bees typically place some of their brood cells within tillage depth, we did not find a tillage effect on their abundance at flowers. We found a negative effect of soil clay content (R2 = 0.24, P = 0.03) and a positive effect of irrigation (F1, 15 = 12.2; P visitation requirements, we found wild bee densities were sufficient to fully pollinate all pumpkin flowers on 13-17 of the 20 farms studied. PMID:19449636

  2. The global stock of domesticated honey bees is growing slower than agricultural demand for pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aizen, Marcelo A; Harder, Lawrence D

    2009-06-01

    The prospect that a global pollination crisis currently threatens agricultural productivity has drawn intense recent interest among scientists, politicians, and the general public. To date, evidence for a global crisis has been drawn from regional or local declines in pollinators themselves or insufficient pollination for particular crops. In contrast, our analysis of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) data reveals that the global population of managed honey-bee hives has increased approximately 45% during the last half century and suggests that economic globalization, rather than biological factors, drives both the dynamics of the global managed honey-bee population and increasing demands for agricultural pollination services. Nevertheless, available data also reveal a much more rapid (>300%) increase in the fraction of agriculture that depends on animal pollination during the last half century, which may be stressing global pollination capacity. Although the primary cause of the accelerating increase of the pollinator dependence of commercial agriculture seems to be economic and political and not biological, the rapid expansion of cultivation of many pollinator-dependent crops has the potential to trigger future pollination problems for both these crops and native species in neighboring areas. Such environmental costs merit consideration during the development of agriculture and conservation policies. PMID:19427214

  3. Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) pollination in California's Central Valley is limited by native bee nest site location.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sardiñas, Hillary S; Tom, Kathleen; Ponisio, Lauren Catherine; Rominger, Andrew; Kremen, Claire

    2016-03-01

    within sunflower fields, with edges receiving higher coverage than field centers. To generate more accurate maps of services, we advocate directly measuring the autecology of ecosystem service providers, which vary by crop system, pollinator species, and region. Improving estimates of the factors affecting pollinator populations can increase the accuracy of pollination service maps and help clarify the influence of farming practices on wild bees occurring in agricultural landscapes. PMID:27209786

  4. Experimental evidence that wildflower strips increase pollinator visits to crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feltham, Hannah; Park, Kirsty; Minderman, Jeroen; Goulson, Dave

    2015-08-01

    Wild bees provide a free and potentially diverse ecosystem service to farmers growing pollination-dependent crops. While many crops benefit from insect pollination, soft fruit crops, including strawberries are highly dependent on this ecosystem service to produce viable fruit. However, as a result of intensive farming practices and declining pollinator populations, farmers are increasingly turning to commercially reared bees to ensure that crops are adequately pollinated throughout the season. Wildflower strips are a commonly used measure aimed at the conservation of wild pollinators. It has been suggested that commercial crops may also benefit from the presence of noncrop flowers; however, the efficacy and economic benefits of sowing flower strips for crops remain relatively unstudied. In a study system that utilizes both wild and commercial pollinators, we test whether wildflower strips increase the number of visits to adjacent commercial strawberry crops by pollinating insects. We quantified this by experimentally sowing wildflower strips approximately 20 meters away from the crop and recording the number of pollinator visits to crops with, and without, flower strips. Between June and August 2013, we walked 292 crop transects at six farms in Scotland, recording a total of 2826 pollinators. On average, the frequency of pollinator visits was 25% higher for crops with adjacent flower strips compared to those without, with a combination of wild and commercial bumblebees (Bombus spp.) accounting for 67% of all pollinators observed. This effect was independent of other confounding effects, such as the number of flowers on the crop, date, and temperature. Synthesis and applications. This study provides evidence that soft fruit farmers can increase the number of pollinators that visit their crops by sowing inexpensive flower seed mixes nearby. By investing in this management option, farmers have the potential to increase and sustain pollinator populations over time

  5. Modification of a Community Garden to Attract Native Bee Pollinators in Urban San Luis Obispo, California

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbin W. Thorp

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Gardens have become increasingly important places for growing nutritional food, for conserving biodiversity, for biological and ecological research and education, and for community gathering. Gardens can also be designed with the goal of attracting specific wildlife, like birds and butterflies, but pollinators, like bees, can also be drawn to specially planned and modified gardens. A community garden in San Luis Obispo, California provided the setting for modification with the goal of attracting native bee pollinators by planting known bee-attractive plants. The local gardeners participated in a survey questionnaire and focused interviews to provide their input and interest in such a project. Presentations on our work with native bees in urban environments and gardening to attract bees were also given to interested gardeners. Work of this type also benefited from a lead gardener who managed donated bee plants and kept up momentum of the project. Modification of the garden and monitoring of native bees started in 2007 and continued through the growing season of 2009. Diversity of collected and observed native bees has increased each year since 2007. To date, 40 species in 17 genera of mostly native bees has been recorded from the garden, and this number is expected to increase through time.

  6. Propagating and Managing orcahrd Mason Bees, Osmia spp. (Hymenoptera: Megachildae) for Pollinating Cultivated Blueberry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Here, we present a brief overview of our bee trap-nesting study as well as information about propagating and managing mason bees for blueberry pollination, especially the bee species Osmia ribifloris....

  7. Bumble bee fauna of Palouse Prairie: survey of native bee pollinators in a fragmented ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatten, T D; Looney, C; Strange, J P; Bosque-Pérez, N A

    2013-01-01

    Bumble bees, Bombus Latreille (Hymenoptera: Apidae:), are dominant pollinators in the northern hemisphere, providing important pollination services for commercial crops and innumerable wild plants. Nationwide declines in several bumble bee species and habitat losses in multiple ecosystems have raised concerns about conservation of this important group. In many regions, such as the Palouse Prairie, relatively little is known about bumble bee communities, despite their critical ecosystem functions. Pitfall trap surveys for ground beetles in Palouse prairie remnants conducted in 2002-2003 contained considerable by-catch of bumble bees. The effects of landscape context, remnant features, year, and season on bumble bee community composition were examined. Additionally, bees captured in 2002-2003 were compared with historic records for the region to assess changes in the presence of individual species. Ten species of bumble bee were captured, representing the majority of the species historically known from the region. Few detectable differences in bumble bee abundances were found among remnants. Community composition differed appreciably, however, based on season, landscape context, and elevation, resulting in different bee assemblages between western, low-lying remnants and eastern, higherelevation remnants. The results suggest that conservation of the still species-rich bumble bee fauna should take into account variability among prairie remnants, and further work is required to adequately explain bumble bee habitat associations on the Palouse. PMID:23902138

  8. Bats and bees are pollinating Parkia biglobosa in The Gambia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lassen, Kristin Marie; Ræbild, Anders; Hansen, Henrik;

    2012-01-01

    A pollination experiment was conducted with Parkia biglobosa (Fabaceae) in The Gambia. P. biglobosa is integrated in the farming systems and produces fruit pulp and seeds used in cooking. The species is bat-pollinated, and in areas with few bats the main pollinators are assumed to be honey bees. A...... replicates. The pollinators’ identity, efficiency, and relative effect were determined. Bats, honey bees, and stingless bees were able to pollinate the species. Bat-visited capitula produced more pods, but not significantly more than honey bees. Honey bees were more efficient than stingless bees, resulting...... fruit pulp was analysed and a positive correlation between number of seeds per pod and the sugar content was found. Improved pollination success may thus result in sweeter fruits. We conclude it is important to strive against a pollinator-friendly environment in order to attract bats and bees...

  9. Africanized honey bees pollinate and preempt the pollen of Spondias mombin (Anacardiaceae) flowers

    OpenAIRE

    Carneiro, Liedson; Martins, Celso

    2012-01-01

    The invasion of generalist Africanized honey bees may change certain plant-pollinator interactions. We evaluated the preemption by honey bees and the exploitative competition with native bees on a tree with nocturnally dehiscent small flowers. Our main objectives were to quantify pollen production and harvesting, to verify whether honey bees exploitatively compete with native bees and to identify the effective pollinators of Spondias mombin. The nocturnally dehiscent flowers were pollen deple...

  10. Flight performance of bumble bee as a possible pollinator in space agriculture under partial gravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashita, Masamichi; Hashimoto, Hirofumi; Mitsuhata, Masahiro; Sasaki, Masami; Space Agriculture Task Force, J.

    Space agriculture is an advanced life support concept for habitation on extraterrestrial bodies based on biological and ecological function. Flowering plant species are core member of space agriculture to produce food and revitalize air and water. Selection of crop plant species is made on the basis of nutritional requirements to maintain healthy life of space crew. Species selected for space agriculture have several mode of reproduction. For some of plant species, insect pollination is effective to increase yield and quality of food. In terrestrial agriculture, bee is widely introduced to pollinate flower. For pollinator insect on Mars, working environment is different from Earth. Magnitude of gravity is 0.38G on Mars surface. In order to confirm feasibility of insect pollination for space agriculture, capability of flying pollinator insect under such exotic condition should be examined. Even bee does not possess evident gravity sensory system, gravity dominates flying performance and behavior. During flight or hovering, lifting force produced by wing beat sustains body weight, which is the product of body mass and gravitational acceleration. Flying behavior of bumble bee, Bombus ignitus, was documented under partial or micro-gravity produced by parabolic flight of jet plane. Flying behavior at absence of gravity differed from that under normal gravity. Ability of bee to fly under partial gravity was examined at the level of Mars, Moon and the less, to determine the threshold level of gravity for bee flying maneuver. Adaptation process of bee flying under different gravity level was evaluated as well by successive documentation of parabolic flight experiment.

  11. Neonicotinoid-contaminated pollinator strips adjacent to cropland reduce honey bee nutritional status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mogren, Christina L; Lundgren, Jonathan G

    2016-01-01

    Worldwide pollinator declines are attributed to a number of factors, including pesticide exposures. Neonicotinoid insecticides specifically have been detected in surface waters, non-target vegetation, and bee products, but the risks posed by environmental exposures are still not well understood. Pollinator strips were tested for clothianidin contamination in plant tissues, and the risks to honey bees assessed. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) quantified clothianidin in leaf, nectar, honey, and bee bread at organic and seed-treated farms. Total glycogen, lipids, and protein from honey bee workers were quantified. The proportion of plants testing positive for clothianidin were the same between treatments. Leaf tissue and honey had similar concentrations of clothianidin between organic and seed-treated farms. Honey (mean±SE: 6.61 ± 0.88 ppb clothianidin per hive) had seven times greater concentrations than nectar collected by bees (0.94 ± 0.09 ppb). Bee bread collected from organic sites (25.8 ± 3.0 ppb) had significantly less clothianidin than those at seed treated locations (41.6 ± 2.9 ppb). Increasing concentrations of clothianidin in bee bread were correlated with decreased glycogen, lipid, and protein in workers. This study shows that small, isolated areas set aside for conservation do not provide spatial or temporal relief from neonicotinoid exposures in agricultural regions where their use is largely prophylactic. PMID:27412495

  12. Neonicotinoid-contaminated pollinator strips adjacent to cropland reduce honey bee nutritional status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mogren, Christina L.; Lundgren, Jonathan G.

    2016-01-01

    Worldwide pollinator declines are attributed to a number of factors, including pesticide exposures. Neonicotinoid insecticides specifically have been detected in surface waters, non-target vegetation, and bee products, but the risks posed by environmental exposures are still not well understood. Pollinator strips were tested for clothianidin contamination in plant tissues, and the risks to honey bees assessed. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) quantified clothianidin in leaf, nectar, honey, and bee bread at organic and seed-treated farms. Total glycogen, lipids, and protein from honey bee workers were quantified. The proportion of plants testing positive for clothianidin were the same between treatments. Leaf tissue and honey had similar concentrations of clothianidin between organic and seed-treated farms. Honey (mean±SE: 6.61 ± 0.88 ppb clothianidin per hive) had seven times greater concentrations than nectar collected by bees (0.94 ± 0.09 ppb). Bee bread collected from organic sites (25.8 ± 3.0 ppb) had significantly less clothianidin than those at seed treated locations (41.6 ± 2.9 ppb). Increasing concentrations of clothianidin in bee bread were correlated with decreased glycogen, lipid, and protein in workers. This study shows that small, isolated areas set aside for conservation do not provide spatial or temporal relief from neonicotinoid exposures in agricultural regions where their use is largely prophylactic. PMID:27412495

  13. Site fidelity by bees drives pollination facilitation in sequentially blooming plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogilvie, Jane E; Thomson, James D

    2016-06-01

    Plant species can influence the pollination and reproductive success of coflowering neighbors that share pollinators. Because some individual pollinators habitually forage in particular areas, it is also possible that plant species could influence the pollination of neighbors that bloom later. When flowers of a preferred forage plant decline in an area, site-fidelity may cause individual flower feeders to stay in an area and switch plant species rather than search for preferred plants in a new location. A newly blooming plant species may quickly inherit a set of visitors from a prior plant species, and therefore experience higher pollination success than it would in an area where the first species never bloomed. To test this, we manipulated the placement and timing of two plant species, Delphinium barbeyi and later-blooming Gentiana parryi. We recorded the responses of individually marked bumble bee pollinators. About 63% of marked individuals returned repeatedly to the same areas to forage on Delphinium. When Delphinium was experimentally taken out of bloom, most of those site-faithful individuals (78%) stayed and switched to Gentiana. Consequently, Gentiana flowers received more visits in areas where Delphinium had previously flowered, compared to areas where Delphinium was still flowering or never occurred. Gentiana stigmas received more pollen in areas where Delphinium disappeared than where it never bloomed, indicating that Delphinium increases the pollination of Gentiana when they are separated in time. Overall, we show that individual bumble bees are often site-faithful, causing one plant species to increase the pollination of another even when separated in time, which is a novel mechanism of pollination facilitation. PMID:27459775

  14. Honey bees are essential for pollination of Vitellaria paradoxa subsp. paradoxa (Sapotaceae) in Burkina Faso

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lassen, Kristin Marie; Nielsen, Lene Rostgaard; Dupont, Yoko Luise;

    2016-01-01

    Shea (Vitellaria paradoxa) is an important fruit tree in West African parklands, and its successful pollination is a requirement for fruit production. Size-based pollinator exclusion experiments combined with visual observations showed that presence of honey bees (Apis mellifera jemenitica) was...... important for pollination and thereby the production of fruits and seeds. Smaller insects, mainly species of stingless bees (Hypotrigona spp. and Liotrigona cf. bottegoi) and solitary bees (Compsomelissa borneri) could partly compensate pollination in absence of honey bees, but fertilisation and fruit yield...... bees were excluded by bagging. We conclude that local beekeeping with honey bees and stingless bees is likely to have a positive influence on fruit production of shea trees in the farmed West African parklands, which speaks in favour of a pollinator friendly environment....

  15. Efficiency of local Indonesia honey bees (Apis cerana L.) and stingless bee (Trigona iridipennis) on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putra, Ramadhani Eka; Kinasih, Ida

    2014-01-01

    Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is considered as one of major agricultural commodity of Indonesia farming. However, monthly production is unstable due to lack of pollination services. Common pollinator agent of tomatoes is bumblebees which is unsuitable for tropical climate of Indonesia and the possibility of alteration of local wild plant interaction with their pollinator. Indonesia is rich with wild bees and some of the species already domesticated for years with prospect as pollinating agent for tomatoes. This research aimed to assess the efficiency of local honey bee (Apis cerana L.) and stingless bee (Trigona iridipennis), as pollinator of tomato. During this research, total visitation rate and total numbers of pollinated flowers by honey bee and stingless bee were compared between them with bagged flowers as control. Total fruit production, average weight and size also measured in order to correlated pollination efficiency with quantity and quality of fruit produced. Result of this research showed that A. cerana has slightly higher rate of visitation (p>0.05) and significantly shorter handling time (p honey bee pollinated tomato flowers more efficient pollinator than stingless bee (80.3 and 70.2% efficiency, respectively; p 0.05). Based on the results, it is concluded that the use of Apis cerana and Trigona spp., for pollinating tomatoes in tropical climates could be an alternative to the use of non-native Apis mellifera and bumblebees (Bombus spp.). However, more researches are needed to evaluate the cost/benefit on large-scale farming and greenhouse pollination using both bees against other bee species and pollination methods. PMID:24783783

  16. Towards a sustainable management of bees of the subgenus Osmia (Megachilidae; Osmia) as fruit tree pollinators

    OpenAIRE

    Sedivy, Claudio; Dorn, Silvia

    2013-01-01

    The limited pollination efficiency of honeybees (Apidae; Apis) for certain crop plants and, more recently, their global decline fostered commercial development of further bee species to complement crop pollination in agricultural systems. In particular, a number of mason bees (Megachilidae; Osmia) are among the most widely used alternative pollinators, and their utilisation has been fine-tuned specifically for pollination in fruit tree orchards. A successful management system should not only ...

  17. Selenium toxicity to honey bee (Apis mellifera L. pollinators: effects on behaviors and survival.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristen R Hladun

    Full Text Available We know very little about how soil-borne pollutants such as selenium (Se can impact pollinators, even though Se has contaminated soils and plants in areas where insect pollination can be critical to the functioning of both agricultural and natural ecosystems. Se can be biotransferred throughout the food web, but few studies have examined its effects on the insects that feed on Se-accumulating plants, particularly pollinators. In laboratory bioassays, we used proboscis extension reflex (PER and taste perception to determine if the presence of Se affected the gustatory response of honey bee (Apis mellifera L., Hymenoptera: Apidae foragers. Antennae and proboscises were stimulated with both organic (selenomethionine and inorganic (selenate forms of Se that commonly occur in Se-accumulating plants. Methionine was also tested. Each compound was dissolved in 1 M sucrose at 5 concentrations, with sucrose alone as a control. Antennal stimulation with selenomethionine and methionine reduced PER at higher concentrations. Selenate did not reduce gustatory behaviors. Two hours after being fed the treatments, bees were tested for sucrose response threshold. Bees fed selenate responded less to sucrose stimulation. Mortality was higher in bees chronically dosed with selenate compared with a single dose. Selenomethionine did not increase mortality except at the highest concentration. Methionine did not significantly impact survival. Our study has shown that bees fed selenate were less responsive to sucrose, which may lead to a reduction in incoming floral resources needed to support coworkers and larvae in the field. If honey bees forage on nectar containing Se (particularly selenate, reductions in population numbers may occur due to direct toxicity. Given that honey bees are willing to consume food resources containing Se and may not avoid Se compounds in the plant tissues on which they are foraging, they may suffer similar adverse effects as seen in other

  18. IMPACT OF HONEY BEE POLLINATION ON POD SET OF MUSTARD (BRASSICA JUNCEA L.: CRUCIFERAE AT PANTNAGAR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VIMLA GOSWAMI

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The diversity and abundance of different insect visitors on mustard (Brassica juncea were studied at Pantnagar. A total of 19 insect visitors belonging to order Hymenoptera (15 and Diptera (4 were found to visit the mustard blossoms at Pantnagar. The abundance (percentage of insect/m2/2min. of Hymenopterans were maximum followed by the Dipterans and others. In Hymenopterans, the honeybees (Apis bees were observed maximum followed by non Apis bees and the scolid wasp. Insect pollinations increased the number of pods and percent pod set.

  19. Effects of varroa mites and bee disease on pollination efficacy of honeybees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Single-stranded RNA viruses cause disease and behavioral changes in many insects, especially honey bees. Varroa mites and viral diseases are known to affect the efficiency of crop pollination by honey bees by eliminating colonies, but almost no information exists about their influence on pollination...

  20. Non-bee insects are important contributors to global crop pollination

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rader, Romina; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Garibaldi, Lucas A.; Kleijn, David; Scheper, Jeroen

    2016-01-01

    Wild andmanaged bees arewell documented as effective pollinators of global crops of economic importance. However, the contributions by pollinators other than bees have been little explored despite their potential to contribute to crop production and stability in the face of environmental change.

  1. Urbanization Increases Pathogen Pressure on Feral and Managed Honey Bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elsa Youngsteadt

    Full Text Available Given the role of infectious disease in global pollinator decline, there is a need to understand factors that shape pathogen susceptibility and transmission in bees. Here we ask how urbanization affects the immune response and pathogen load of feral and managed colonies of honey bees (Apis mellifera Linnaeus, the predominant economically important pollinator worldwide. Using quantitative real-time PCR, we measured expression of 4 immune genes and relative abundance of 10 honey bee pathogens. We also measured worker survival in a laboratory bioassay. We found that pathogen pressure on honey bees increased with urbanization and management, and the probability of worker survival declined 3-fold along our urbanization gradient. The effect of management on pathogens appears to be mediated by immunity, with feral bees expressing immune genes at nearly twice the levels of managed bees following an immune challenge. The effect of urbanization, however, was not linked with immunity; instead, urbanization may favor viability and transmission of some disease agents. Feral colonies, with lower disease burdens and stronger immune responses, may illuminate ways to improve honey bee management. The previously unexamined effects of urbanization on honey-bee disease are concerning, suggesting that urban areas may favor problematic diseases of pollinators.

  2. Modification of a Community Garden to Attract Native Bee Pollinators in Urban San Luis Obispo, California

    OpenAIRE

    Thorp, Robbin W.; Gordon W. Frankie; Jaime Pawelek; Maggie Przybylski

    2009-01-01

    Gardens have become increasingly important places for growing nutritional food, for conserving biodiversity, for biological and ecological research and education, and for community gathering. Gardens can also be designed with the goal of attracting specific wildlife, like birds and butterflies, but pollinators, like bees, can also be drawn to specially planned and modified gardens. A community garden in San Luis Obispo, California provided the setting for modification with the goal of attract...

  3. Pollination of Saguaro Cactus by Doves, Nectar-Feeding Bats, and Honey Bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcorn, S M; McGregor, S E; Olin, G

    1961-05-19

    In a large cage, free-flying western white-winged doves, nectar-feeding Leptonycteris bats, and honey bees were each effective as cross-pollinators of self-sterile saguaro flowers. Seed production and seed viability were not significantly different in fruit from flowers pollinated by these agents. Pollination is not a limiting factor in saguaro repopulation. PMID:17781127

  4. Gloss, colour and grip: multifunctional epidermal cell shapes in bee- and bird-pollinated flowers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papiorek, Sarah; Junker, Robert R; Lunau, Klaus

    2014-01-01

    Flowers bear the function of filters supporting the attraction of pollinators as well as the deterrence of floral antagonists. The effect of epidermal cell shape on the visual display and tactile properties of flowers has been evaluated only recently. In this study we quantitatively measured epidermal cell shape, gloss and spectral reflectance of flowers pollinated by either bees or birds testing three hypotheses: The first two hypotheses imply that bee-pollinated flowers might benefit from rough surfaces on visually-active parts produced by conical epidermal cells, as they may enhance the colour signal of flowers as well as the grip on flowers for bees. In contrast, bird-pollinated flowers might benefit from flat surfaces produced by flat epidermal cells, by avoiding frequent visitation from non-pollinating bees due to a reduced colour signal, as birds do not rely on specific colour parameters while foraging. Moreover, flat petal surfaces in bird-pollinated flowers may hamper grip for bees that do not touch anthers and stigmas while consuming nectar and thus, are considered as nectar thieves. Beside this, the third hypothesis implies that those flower parts which are vulnerable to nectar robbing of bee- as well as bird-pollinated flowers benefit from flat epidermal cells, hampering grip for nectar robbing bees. Our comparative data show in fact that conical epidermal cells are restricted to visually-active parts of bee-pollinated flowers, whereas robbing-sensitive parts of bee-pollinated as well as the entire floral surface of bird-pollinated flowers possess on average flat epidermal cells. However, direct correlations between epidermal cell shape and colour parameters have not been found. Our results together with published experimental studies show that epidermal cell shape as a largely neglected flower trait might act as an important feature in pollinator attraction and avoidance of antagonists, and thus may contribute to the partitioning of flower

  5. Stingless bees, Melipona fasciculata, as efficient pollinators of eggplant (Solanum melongena) in greenhouses

    OpenAIRE

    Nunes-Silva, Patrícia; Hrncir, Michael; Silva, Cláudia; Roldão, Yara; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera

    2013-01-01

    Detailed studies of the behavior of pollinators allow insights into pollination mechanisms and may indicate which pollinators are more efficient for a particular plant species. Our aim was to evaluate if Melipona fasciculata is an efficient pollinator of eggplant (Solanum melongena L., Solanaceae) in greenhouses. We analyzed (1) the colony foraging pattern of M. fasciculata in greenhouses, (2) the behavior of bees during the visits to flowers, and (3) fruit set and fruit quality after differe...

  6. Two bee-pollinated plant species show higher seed production when grown in gardens compared to arable farmland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Cussans

    Full Text Available Insect pollinator abundance, in particular that of bees, has been shown to be high where there is a super-abundance of floral resources; for example in association with mass-flowering crops and also in gardens where flowering plants are often densely planted. Since land management affects pollinator numbers, it is also likely to affect the resultant pollination of plants growing in these habitats. We hypothesised that the seed or fruit set of two plant species, typically pollinated by bumblebees and/or honeybees might respond in one of two ways: 1 pollination success could be reduced when growing in a floriferous environment, via competition for pollinators, or 2 pollination success could be enhanced because of increased pollinator abundance in the vicinity.We compared the pollination success of experimental plants of Glechoma hederacea L. and Lotus corniculatus L. growing in gardens and arable farmland. On the farms, the plants were placed either next to a mass-flowering crop (oilseed rape, Brassica napus L. or field beans, Vicia faba L. or next to a cereal crop (wheat, Triticum spp.. Seed set of G. hederacea and fruit set of L. corniculatus were significantly higher in gardens compared to arable farmland. There was no significant difference in pollination success of G. hederacea when grown next to different crops, but for L. corniculatus, fruit set was higher in the plants growing next to oilseed rape when the crop was in flower.The results show that pollination services can limit fruit set of wild plants in arable farmland, but there is some evidence that the presence of a flowering crop can facilitate their pollination (depending on species and season. We have also demonstrated that gardens are not only beneficial to pollinators, but also to the process of pollination.

  7. Pollinators in biofuel agricultural systems: the diversity and performance of bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) on Jatropha curcas in Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Romero, María; Quezada-Euán, José

    2013-01-01

    As with other biofuel crops, information on the effect of insect pollinators and landscape context on the productivity and sustainability of Jatropha curcas is lacking. We studied the effect of pollinator exclusion, self-pollination, cross-pollination and individual visits of the stingless bee Frieseomelitta nigra and the honey bee Apis mellifera on fruit set and weight of fruit and seed of J. curcas. We compared the relative abundance of both bee species on flowers and whether their attribut...

  8. Comparison of Bee Pollinators of Coffee in Organic and Conventional Farms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca H.N. Karanja

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Kenyan Coffea arabica L. is globally recognised for its high quality and it is used to blend other coffees in the world market. No previous studies in Kenya have identified pollinators of coffee and this necessitated the study. Coffea arabica was thought to be self-pollinated but recent studies have given an indication that it is amphicarpic thus needing pollinator services. This is especially for the self sterile flowers while in self fertile flowers pollination success rate is enhanced. This study assessed the diversity of bee pollinators of coffee in organic and conventional farming system in Kiambu Kenya. Sampling of bees found to evidently carry pollen and interact with anthers was done and these bees were recorded. Sixty three bee species were sampled with organic farm having 60 species and conventional farm 24 species. Bee abundance and diversity between organic and conventional farms differed significantly (t = -2.1227, df = 61, p<0.05. Andrena (sp possibly a new species was collected. Findings from this study revealed that wild bees other than Apis mellifera are important pollinators of coffee. The wild bees were few in numbers and ways of enhancing their populations should be devised.

  9. Profiling crop pollinators: life history traits predict habitat use and crop visitation by Mediterranean wild bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pisanty, Gideon; Mandelik, Yael

    2015-04-01

    Wild pollinators, bees in particular, may greatly contribute to crop pollination and provide a safety net against declines in commercial pollinators. However, the identity, life history traits, and environmental sensitivities of main crop pollinator species.have received limited attention. These are crucial for predicting pollination services of different communities and for developing management practices that enhance crop pollinators. We sampled wild bees in three crop systems (almond, confection sunflower, and seed watermelon) in a mosaic Israeli Mediterranean landscape. Bees were sampled in field/orchard edges and interiors, and in seminatural scrub surrounding the fields/orchards. We also analyzed land cover at 50-2500 m radii around fields/orchards. We used this data to distinguish crop from non-crop pollinators based on a set of life history traits (nesting, lecty, sociality, body size) linked to habitat preference and crop visitation. Bee abundance and species richness decreased from the surrounding seminatural habitat to the field/orchard interior, especially across the seminatural habitat-field edge ecotone. Thus, although rich bee communities were found near fields, only small fractions crossed the ecotone and visited crop flowers in substantial numbers. The bee assemblage in agricultural fields/orchards and on crop flowers was dominated by ground-nesting bees of the tribe Halictini, which tend to nest within fields. Bees' habitat preferences were determined mainly by nesting guild, whereas crop visitation was determined mainly by sociality. Lecty and body size also affected both measures. The percentage of surrounding seminatural habitat at 250-2500 m radii had a positive effect on wild bee diversity in field edges, for all bee guilds, while at 50-100 m radii, only aboveground nesters were positively affected. In sum, we found that crop and non-crop pollinators are distinguished by behavioral and morphological traits. Hence, analysis of life

  10. The importance of plant diversity in maintaining the pollinator bee, Eulaema nigrita (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in sweet passion fruit fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Cláudia Inês; Bordon, Natali Gomes; da Rocha Filho, Léo Correia; Garófalo, Carlos Alberto

    2012-12-01

    The euglossine bee Eulaema nigrita plays an important role for the pollination of native and economically important plants, such as the sweet passion-fruit Passiflora alata. E. nigrita uniquely collects the nectar from the flowers of P. alata, nevertheless, it needs to visit other plants to collect pollen, nectar and other resources for its survival. There are two methods to identify the species of plants used by bees in their diet: by direct observation of the bees in the flowers, and through identification of pollen grains present in brood cells, feces, or in the bees' body. In order to identify the other plants that E. nigrita visits, we analyzed samples of pollen grains removed from the bee's body in the course of the flowering period of P. alata. Among our results, the flora visited by E. nigrita comprised 40 species from 32 genera and 19 families, some of them used as a pollen source or just nectar. In spite of being a polyletic species, E. nigrita exhibited preference for some plant species with poricidal anthers. P. alata which has high sugar concentration nectar was the main source of nectar for this bee in the studied area. Nonetheless, the pollinic analysis indicated that others nectariferous plant species are necessary to keep the populations of E. nigrita. Studies such as this one are important since they indicate supplementary pollen-nectar sources which must be used for the conservation of the populations of E. nigrita in crops neighbouring areas. In the absence of pollinators, growers are forced to pay for hand pollination, which increases production costs; keeping pollinators in cultivated areas is still more feasible to ensure sweet passion fruit production. PMID:23342510

  11. Genetic and Fitness Costs of Raising Wild Pollinators in Captivity: Interaction among Species, Subspecies and Populations of orchard Bees Osmia ribifloris and Osmia lignaria (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viable breeding units, which may increase heterozygosity and the proportion of female bees for a population of orchard bees Osmia ribifloris, were indentifyied with PCR-amplified polymorphic mtDNA. Breeding experiments tested the relative fitness of each breeding unit as part of a pollinator managem...

  12. Bees as Biosensors: Chemosensory Ability, Honey Bee Monitoring Systems, and Emergent Sensor Technologies Derived from the Pollinator Syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jerry J. Bromenshenk

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available This review focuses on critical milestones in the development path for the use of bees, mainly honey bees and bumble bees, as sentinels and biosensors. These keystone species comprise the most abundant pollinators of agro-ecosystems. Pollinating 70%–80% of flowering terrestrial plants, bees and other insects propel the reproduction and survival of plants and themselves, as well as improve the quantity and quality of seeds, nuts, and fruits that feed birds, wildlife, and us. Flowers provide insects with energy, nutrients, and shelter, while pollinators are essential to global ecosystem productivity and stability. A rich and diverse milieu of chemical signals establishes and maintains this intimate partnership. Observations of bee odor search behavior extend back to Aristotle. In the past two decades great strides have been made in methods and instrumentation for the study and exploitation of bee search behavior and for examining intra-organismal chemical communication signals. In particular, bees can be trained to search for and localize sources for a variety of chemicals, which when coupled with emerging tracking and mapping technologies create novel potential for research, as well as bee and crop management.

  13. Potential pollinators of tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum (Solanaceae), in open crops and the effect of a solitary bee in fruit set and quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, A O R; Bartelli, B F; Nogueira-Ferreira, F H

    2014-06-01

    We identified native bees that are floral visitors and potential pollinators of tomato in Cerrado areas, described the foraging behavior of these species, and verified the influence of the visitation of a solitary bee on the quantity and quality of fruits. Three areas of tomato crops, located in Minas Gerais, Brazil, were sampled between March and November 2012. We collected 185 bees belonging to 13 species. Exomalopsis (Exomalopsis) analis Spinola, 1853 (Hymenoptera: Apidae) was the most abundant. Ten species performed buzz pollination. Apis mellifera L. 1758 (Hymenoptera: Apidae) and Paratrigona lineata (Lepeletier, 1836) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) could also act as pollinators. The fruit set and number of seeds obtained from the pollination treatment by E. analis were higher than those in the control group. Our results allowed the identification of potential tomato pollinators in Cerrado areas and also contributed information regarding the impact of a single species (E. analis) on fruit set and quality. Although most of the visiting bees show the ability for tomato pollination, there is an absence of adequate management techniques, and its usage is difficult with the aim of increasing the crop production, which is the case for E. analis. Species such as Melipona quinquefasciata, P. lineata, and A. mellifera, which are easy to handle, are not used for pollination services. Finally, it is suggested that a combination of different bee species that are able to pollinate the tomato is necessary to prevent the super-exploitation of only a single species for pollination services and to guarantee the occurrence of potential pollinators in the crop area. PMID:25026657

  14. Pesticide exposure in honey bees results in increased levels of the gut pathogen Nosema

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pettis, Jeffery S.; Vanengelsdorp, Dennis; Johnson, Josephine; Dively, Galen

    2012-02-01

    Global pollinator declines have been attributed to habitat destruction, pesticide use, and climate change or some combination of these factors, and managed honey bees, Apis mellifera, are part of worldwide pollinator declines. Here we exposed honey bee colonies during three brood generations to sub-lethal doses of a widely used pesticide, imidacloprid, and then subsequently challenged newly emerged bees with the gut parasite, Nosema spp. The pesticide dosages used were below levels demonstrated to cause effects on longevity or foraging in adult honey bees. Nosema infections increased significantly in the bees from pesticide-treated hives when compared to bees from control hives demonstrating an indirect effect of pesticides on pathogen growth in honey bees. We clearly demonstrate an increase in pathogen growth within individual bees reared in colonies exposed to one of the most widely used pesticides worldwide, imidacloprid, at below levels considered harmful to bees. The finding that individual bees with undetectable levels of the target pesticide, after being reared in a sub-lethal pesticide environment within the colony, had higher Nosema is significant. Interactions between pesticides and pathogens could be a major contributor to increased mortality of honey bee colonies, including colony collapse disorder, and other pollinator declines worldwide.

  15. Evaluation of native bees as pollinators of cucurbit crops under floating row covers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minter, Logan M; Bessin, Ricardo T

    2014-10-01

    Production of cucurbit crops presents growers with numerous challenges. Several severe pests and diseases can be managed through the use of rotation, trap cropping, mechanical barriers, such as row covers, and chemical applications. However, considerations must also be made for pollinating insects, as adequate pollination affects the quantity and quality of fruit. Insecticides may negatively affect pollinators; a concern enhanced in recent years due to losses in managed Apis melifera L. colonies. Row covers can be used in place of chemical control before pollination, but when removed, pests have access to fields along with the pollinators. If pollination services of native bees could be harnessed for use under continuous row covers, both concerns could be balanced for growers. The potential of two bee species which specialize on cucurbit flowers, Peponapis pruinosa Say and Xenoglossa strenua Cresson, were assessed under continuous row covers, employed over acorn squash. Experimental treatments included plots with either naturally or artificially introduced bees under row covers and control plots with row covers either permanently removed at crop flowering, or employed continuously with no added pollinating insects. Pests in plots with permanently removed row covers were managed using standard practices used in certified organic production. Marketable yields from plots inoculated with bees were indistinguishable from those produced under standard practices, indicating this system would provide adequate yields to growers without time and monetary inputs of insecticide applications. Additionally, application of this technique was investigated for muskmelon production and discussed along with considerations for farm management. PMID:25199100

  16. Bumble bees (Bombus spp along a gradient of increasing urbanization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karin Ahrné

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Bumble bees and other wild bees are important pollinators of wild flowers and several cultivated crop plants, and have declined in diversity and abundance during the last decades. The main cause of the decline is believed to be habitat destruction and fragmentation associated with urbanization and agricultural intensification. Urbanization is a process that involves dramatic and persistent changes of the landscape, increasing the amount of built-up areas while decreasing the amount of green areas. However, urban green areas can also provide suitable alternative habitats for wild bees. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We studied bumble bees in allotment gardens, i.e. intensively managed flower rich green areas, along a gradient of urbanization from the inner city of Stockholm towards more rural (periurban areas. Keeping habitat quality similar along the urbanization gradient allowed us to separate the effect of landscape change (e.g. proportion impervious surface from variation in habitat quality. Bumble bee diversity (after rarefaction to 25 individuals decreased with increasing urbanization, from around eight species on sites in more rural areas to between five and six species in urban allotment gardens. Bumble bee abundance and species composition were most affected by qualities related to the management of the allotment areas, such as local flower abundance. The variability in bumble bee visits between allotment gardens was higher in an urban than in a periurban context, particularly among small and long-tongued bumble bee species. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results suggest that allotment gardens and other urban green areas can serve as important alternatives to natural habitats for many bumble bee species, but that the surrounding urban landscape influences how many species that will be present. The higher variability in abundance of certain species in the most urban areas may indicate a weaker reliability of the ecosystem

  17. Pollinators of Richardia grandiflora (Rubiaceae): an Important Ruderal Species for Bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, R M; Martins, C F

    2015-02-01

    Ruderal species may provide pollen and nectar to maintain the pollinators of crops in periods of floral resource shortage. The knowledge about the floral biology of these plant species and their interaction with insects is important for management strategies of agricultural systems. The study was carried out at an experimental research station in two different periods (August 2010-April 2011 and August 2012-January 2013). Floral biology was studied, and the reproductive system and reproductive efficacy (RE) were analyzed using controlled pollination experiments. Furthermore, floral visitors and pollination were identified and quantified. Reproductive success obtained in the open pollination and cross-pollination experiments was higher than those obtained in spontaneous self, hand self, and wind pollination. Richardia grandiflora bloomed throughout the experimental period, and flowers were visited by Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera, and Lepidoptera, which were observed foraging for pollen and/or nectar. Among the floral visitors, bees were the richest and most frequent group and often contacted anthers and stigmas during visits. Africanized honeybees touched the floral reproductive structures in all visits, and their frequency may be related to changes in the reproductive efficacy between the study periods. Pollinator species of crops cultivated at the experimental research station were frequent bee visitors of R. grandiflora. We demonstrated that R. grandiflora requires cross-pollination and biotic pollen vectors. Among floral visitors, bees are the main pollinators, especially the Africanized honeybees. R. grandiflora can be considered an important ruderal species for maintaining bee pollinator populations at the study site, providing resources during the period that crops are not blooming. PMID:26013009

  18. The Role of Bee Pollinators in Improving Berry Weight and Coffee Cup Quality

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    Rebecca H.N. Karanja

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The study was conducted at Kiambu County in Kenya. The aim of this study was to investigate whether pollination improves the coffee yield and quality of processed coffee in terms of taste and aroma. Among the parameters evaluated when grading coffee for sale in world market are berry weight and cup quality. No previous work in Kenya describes the role of bee pollinators in enhancement of coffee yields and quality. Data on berry weights and the resulting processed coffee quality from different pollination levels in organically grown coffee were analyzed. Results from this study indicate that coffee benefits immensely from pollinators. The highest berry weight and coffee cup quality were recorded in open pollinated and cross pollinated coffee. There were significant differences in weight and cup quality (p<0.001 between open pollinated coffee and wind pollination, self pollination and autogamy. The study concludes that pollination not only improves the coffee yields but also enhance the coffee cup taste and aroma. High quality coffee fetches higher prices in the world coffee market.

  19. The Role of Bee Pollinators in Improving Berry Weight and Coffee Cup Quality

    OpenAIRE

    Rebecca H.N. Karanja; Njoroge, Grace N; John M. Kihoro; Mary W. Gikungu; L.E. Newton

    2013-01-01

    The study was conducted at Kiambu County in Kenya. The aim of this study was to investigate whether pollination improves the coffee yield and quality of processed coffee in terms of taste and aroma. Among the parameters evaluated when grading coffee for sale in world market are berry weight and cup quality. No previous work in Kenya describes the role of bee pollinators in enhancement of coffee yields and quality. Data on berry weights and the resulting processed coffee quality from different...

  20. Global honey bee colony disorders and other threats to insect pollinators

    OpenAIRE

    Kluser, Stéphane; Neumann, Peter; Chauzat, Marie-Pierre; Pettis, Jeffery S.; Peduzzi, Pascal; Witt, Ron; Fernandez, Norberto; Theuri, Mwangi

    2010-01-01

    Current evidence demonstrates that a sixth major extinction of biological diversity event is underway.1. The Earth is losing between one and ten percent of biodiversity per decade2, mostly due to habitat loss, pest invasion, pollution, over-harvesting and disease3. Certain natural ecosystem services are vital for human societies. Many fruit, nut, vegetable, legume, and seed crops depend on pollination. Pollination services are provided both by wild, free-living organisms (mainly bees, but als...

  1. FLORAL VISITORS IN SALVIA RHOMBIFOLIA RUIZ & PAVON (LAMIACEAE IN LIMA, PERU: A BEE-POLLINATED SPECIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lianka Cairampoma

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available We study the mechanisms, rates and agents involved in pollination and subsequent reproduction of Salvia rhombifolia. It characterized its floral visitors by recorded their visit frequency, also wemeasured its reproductive success by the percentage of seed production. Four bee species, one dipterous species and two hummingbird species were seen visiting flowers. Due hummingbirds were not actively carry pollen during their visits, they were classified as opportunistic; on the other hand, three bee species were principal pollinators because they carry and actively transfer pollen among S. rhombifolia flowers.

  2. Does pathogen spillover from commercially reared bumble bees threaten wild pollinators?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael C Otterstatter

    Full Text Available The conservation of insect pollinators is drawing attention because of reported declines in bee species and the 'ecosystem services' they provide. This issue has been brought to a head by recent devastating losses of honey bees throughout North America (so called, 'Colony Collapse Disorder'; yet, we still have little understanding of the cause(s of bee declines. Wild bumble bees (Bombus spp. have also suffered serious declines and circumstantial evidence suggests that pathogen 'spillover' from commercially reared bumble bees, which are used extensively to pollinate greenhouse crops, is a possible cause. We constructed a spatially explicit model of pathogen spillover in bumble bees and, using laboratory experiments and the literature, estimated parameter values for the spillover of Crithidia bombi, a destructive pathogen commonly found in commercial Bombus. We also monitored wild bumble bee populations near greenhouses for evidence of pathogen spillover, and compared the fit of our model to patterns of C. bombi infection observed in the field. Our model predicts that, during the first three months of spillover, transmission from commercial hives would infect up to 20% of wild bumble bees within 2 km of the greenhouse. However, a travelling wave of disease is predicted to form suddenly, infecting up to 35-100% of wild Bombus, and spread away from the greenhouse at a rate of 2 km/wk. In the field, although we did not observe a large epizootic wave of infection, the prevalences of C. bombi near greenhouses were consistent with our model. Indeed, we found that spillover has allowed C. bombi to invade several wild bumble bee species near greenhouses. Given the available evidence, it is likely that pathogen spillover from commercial bees is contributing to the ongoing decline of wild Bombus in North America. Improved management of domestic bees, for example by reducing their parasite loads and their overlap with wild congeners, could diminish or even

  3. Promoting pollinating insects in intensive agricultural matrices: field-scale experimental manipulation of hay-meadow mowing regimes and its effects on bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierrick Buri

    Full Text Available Bees are a key component of biodiversity as they ensure a crucial ecosystem service: pollination. This ecosystem service is nowadays threatened, because bees suffer from agricultural intensification. Yet, bees rarely benefit from the measures established to promote biodiversity in farmland, such as agri-environment schemes (AES. We experimentally tested if the spatio-temporal modification of mowing regimes within extensively managed hay meadows, a widespread AES, can promote bees. We applied a randomized block design, replicated 12 times across the Swiss lowlands, that consisted of three different mowing treatments: 1 first cut not before 15 June (conventional regime for meadows within Swiss AES; 2 first cut not before 15 June, as treatment 1 but with 15% of area left uncut serving as a refuge; 3 first cut not before 15 July. Bees were collected with pan traps, twice during the vegetation season (before and after mowing. Wild bee abundance and species richness significantly increased in meadows where uncut refuges were left, in comparison to meadows without refuges: there was both an immediate (within year and cumulative (from one year to the following positive effect of the uncut refuge treatment. An immediate positive effect of delayed mowing was also evidenced in both wild bees and honey bees. Conventional AES could easily accommodate such a simple management prescription that promotes farmland biodiversity and is likely to enhance pollination services.

  4. Assessing continental-scale risks for generalist and specialist pollinating bee species under climate change

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    Stuart Roberts

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Increased risks of extinction to populations of animals and plants under changing climate have now been demonstrated for many taxa. This study assesses the extinction risks to species within an important genus of pollinating bees (Colletes: Apidae by estimating the expected changes in the area and isolation of suitable habitat under predicted climatic condition for 2050. Suitable habitat was defined on the basis of the presence of known forage plants as well as climatic suitability. To investigate whether ecological specialisation was linked to extinction risk we compared three species which were generalist pollen foragers on several plant families with three species which specialised on pollen from a single plant species. Both specialist and generalist species showed an increased risk of extinction with shifting climate, and this was particularly high for the most specialised species (Colletes anchusae and C. wolfi. The forage generalist C. impunctatus, which is associated with Boreo-Alpine environments, is potentially threatened through significant reduction in available climatic niche space. Including the distribution of the principal or sole pollen forage plant, when modelling the distribution of monolectic or narrowly oligolectic species, did not improve the predictive accuracy of our models as the plant species were considerably more widespread than the specialised bees associated with them.

  5. Bee Hotels’ as Tools for Native Pollinator Conservation: A Premature Verdict?

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacIvor, J. Scott; Packer, Laurence

    2015-01-01

    Society is increasingly concerned with declining wild bee populations. Although most bees nest in the ground, considerable effort has centered on installing ‘bee hotels’—also known as nest boxes or trap nests—which artificially aggregate nest sites of above ground nesting bees. Campaigns to ‘save the bees’ often promote these devices despite the absence of data indicating they have a positive effect. From a survey of almost 600 bee hotels set up over a period of three years in Toronto, Canada, introduced bees nested at 32.9% of sites and represented 24.6% of more than 27,000 total bees and wasps recorded (47.1% of all bees recorded). Native bees were parasitized more than introduced bees and females of introduced bee species provisioned nests with significantly more female larva each year. Native wasps were significantly more abundant than both native and introduced bees and occupied almost 3/4 of all bee hotels each year; further, introduced wasps were the only group to significantly increase in relative abundance year over year. More research is needed to elucidate the potential pitfalls and benefits of using bee hotels in the conservation and population dynamics of wild native bees. PMID:25785609

  6. The contribution of honey bees, flies and wasps to avocado (Persea americana pollination in southern Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesica Perez-Balam

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Although avocado is native to Mexico, there are no comparative measures in this country on the performance of its flower visitors as pollinators. The contribution of honey bees, flies and wasps to the pollination of avocado from tropical Mexico was assessed by comparing abundance, speed of flower visitation, quantity of pollen carried per individual and pollen deposited on virgin flowers after single visits. The values of abundance and frequency of flower visitation with pollen deposition were combined to obtain a measure of pollinator performance (PP. The most abundant insects on avocado were flies (mean ± SE: 15. 2 ± 6.2, followed by honey bees (9.4 ± 6.3 and wasps (4.2 ± 3.1 (ANOVA F = 91.71, d.f. = 2,78; P P P = 0.001, the number of pollen grains deposited on a stigma after a single visit was similar for the three taxa (2-5. There was evidence for a significant and similarly positive PP of both honey bees and flies as avocado pollinators over wasps, given their abundance, potential for pollen transport and deposition of pollen on stigmas.

  7. Bimodal pollination system of the bromeliad Aechmea nudicaulis involving hummingbirds and bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmid, S; Schmid, V S; Zillikens, A; Harter-Marques, B; Steiner, J

    2011-01-01

    In order to compare the effectiveness of birds and insects as pollinators, we studied the floral biology of the bromeliad Aechmea nudicaulis (L.) Grisebach in the biome of the Atlantic rain forest, southern Brazil. On Santa Catarina Island, flowering extends from mid-September to the end of December, with diurnal anthesis. The reproductive system is obligatory xenogamy, thus pollinator-dependent. Flowers secrete 31.84 μl of nectar per day, with a mean sugar concentration of 23.2%. Highest nectar volume and sugar concentration occur at the beginning of anthesis. Most floral traits are characteristic for ornithophily, and nectar production appears to be adapted to the energy demand of hummingbirds. Continued secretion of the sucrose-dominated nectar attracts and binds visitors to inflorescences, strengthening trapline foraging behaviour. Experiments assessing seed set after single flower visits were performed with the most frequent visitors, revealing the hummingbird Thalurania glaucopis as the most effective pollen vector. In addition, bees are also functional pollinators, as substantiated by their high visitation frequency. We conclude that this pollination system is bimodal. Thus, there is redundancy in the pollination service provided by birds and bees, granting a high probability of successful reproduction in Ae. nudicaulis. PMID:21134086

  8. Analysis of Factors Affecting Use of Bumble Bees for the Pollination in Glasshouse Tomatoes Growing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Yilmaz

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available In the study, a binary logit model was employed to determine factors affecting the use of bumble bees for the pollination in glasshouse tomatoes production in Antalya province of Turkey. Tomatoes yield, education level of farmer, experience in greenhouse vegetable production, knowledge level of farmers about bumble bee using, adoption level of new other production technologies, specialization and level of hired labor cost were fitted in the model as explanatory variables. The results indicated that yield, knowledge level of farmers about bumble bee using, adoption level of new production technologies are statistically significant, while other variables are not. In the model, only level of hired labor cost variable is negatively and other variables are positively associated with the probability of bumble bee adoption.

  9. Developing and establishing bee species as crop pollinators: the example of Osmia spp. (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) and fruit trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosch, J; Bosch, J; Kemp, W P

    2002-02-01

    The development of a bee species as a new crop pollinator starts with the identification of a pollination-limited crop production deficit and the selection of one or more candidate pollinator species. The process continues with a series of studies on the developmental biology, pollinating efficacy, nesting behaviour, preference for different nesting substrates, and population dynamics of the candidate pollinator. Parallel studies investigate the biology of parasites, predators and pathogens. The information gained in these studies is combined with information on the reproductive biology of the crop to design a management system. Complete management systems should provide guidelines on rearing and releasing methods, bee densities required for adequate pollination, nesting materials, and control against parasites, predators and pathogens. Management systems should also provide methods to ensure a reliable pollinator supply. Pilot tests on a commercial scale are then conducted to test and eventually refine the management system. The process culminates with the delivery of a viable system to manage and sustain the new pollinator on a commercial scale. The process is illustrated by the development of three mason bees, Osmia cornifrons (Radoszkowski), O. lignaria Say and O. cornuta (Latreille) as orchard pollinators in Japan, the USA and Europe, respectively. PMID:12020357

  10. NECTAR ROBBERY BY BEES [XYLOCOPA VIRGINICA (L.) AND APIS MELLIFERA L.] CONTRIBUTES TO THE POLLINATION OF RABBITEYE BLUEBERRY

    Science.gov (United States)

    At the flowers of rabbiteye blueberry, honeybees probe for nectar from robbery slits previously made by male carpenter bees. This relationship between primary nectar robbers (carpenter bees) and facultative nectar thieves (honeybees) is seemingly unfavorable for blueberry pollination. We designed tw...

  11. FLORAL VISITORS IN SALVIA RHOMBIFOLIA RUIZ & PAVON (LAMIACEAE) IN LIMA, PERU: A BEE-POLLINATED SPECIES

    OpenAIRE

    Lianka Cairampoma; Carlos Martel

    2012-01-01

    We study the mechanisms, rates and agents involved in pollination and subsequent reproduction of Salvia rhombifolia. It characterized its floral visitors by recorded their visit frequency, also wemeasured its reproductive success by the percentage of seed production. Four bee species, one dipterous species and two hummingbird species were seen visiting flowers. Due hummingbirds were not actively carry pollen during their visits, they were classified as opportunistic; on the other hand, three ...

  12. Butterflies visit more frequently, but bees are better pollinators: the importance of mouthpart dimensions in effective pollen removal and deposition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrios, Beyte; Pena, Sean R; Salas, Andrea; Koptur, Suzanne

    2016-01-01

    Pollination studies often use visitation frequency of potential pollinators as an indicator of their importance, but this is only one component and may not reflect actual pollen transfer rates. In this study, we determine the most effective pollinator group of Angadenia berteroi, a tropical perennial subshrub with large yellow flowers that set few fruits. We determined visitation frequency and pollen transfer effectiveness of the four most common groups of visitors (long- and short-tongued bees, and skipper and non-skipper butterflies). Using potted plants, we exposed flowers to single visits from different types of pollinators to measure fruit set. We demonstrate that A. berteroi is most effectively pollinated by long-tongued bees, though many other species visit the flowers; the most frequent visitor group is not the most important pollinator, because they neither carry nor deposit much pollen, as the width of their proboscis is small compared with long-tongued bees. In this system, the width of the proboscis of the pollinators correlates with pollen transfer efficiency. Our results demonstrate the importance of pollen removal, pollen deposition, and fruit set, in determining the most effective pollinators, rather than visitor frequency. The distinctive morphology of these flowers, with a large bell and a narrow, short tube, suggests that other flowers of this shape may similarly benefit more from visitors with mouthparts shorter than previously considered optimal. PMID:26742956

  13. Bee Hotels’ as Tools for Native Pollinator Conservation: A Premature Verdict?

    OpenAIRE

    MacIvor, J. Scott; Packer, Laurence

    2015-01-01

    Society is increasingly concerned with declining wild bee populations. Although most bees nest in the ground, considerable effort has centered on installing ‘bee hotels’—also known as nest boxes or trap nests—which artificially aggregate nest sites of above ground nesting bees. Campaigns to ‘save the bees’ often promote these devices despite the absence of data indicating they have a positive effect. From a survey of almost 600 bee hotels set up over a period of three years in Toronto, Canada...

  14. [Pollinators of Bertholletia excelsa (Lecythidales: Lecythidaceae): interactions with stingless bees (Apidae: Meliponini) and trophic niche].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Charles F; Absy, Maria L

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents an analysis of the foraging behavior and interactions of Xylocopa frontalis Olivier (Apidae: Xylocopini) and Eulaema mocsaryi (Friese) (Apidae: Euglossini) in the presence of stingless bees (Apidae: Meliponini) in flowers of Bertholletia excelsa, the Brazilian nut. The palynological load carried by both species was also examined. This study was conducted in the farm Aruanã, Itacoatiara/ Amazonas state, Brazil, during the flowering peak of B. excelsa. The visitation by the main pollinators X. frontalis and E. mocsaryi were influenced by the presence and activities of stingless bees in the flowers of B. excelsa. Meliponini bees did not have any effect on the visits and collection of floral resources by X. frontalis, while negatively affecting the number of visits by E. mocsaryi. The stingless bees presented a variety of strategies to get access to pollen grains of B. excelsa, grouped into two categories: opportunism -Frieseomelitta trichocerata Moure, Tetragona goettei (Friese), and Tetragona kaieteurensis (Schwarz), and stealing -Trigona branneri Cockerell, Trigona fuscipennis Friese, and Trigona guianae Cockerell. The palynological analysis from X. frontalis showed that the bee collected pollen in a few species of plants, but mainly on B. excelsa. The pollen grains of B. excelsa were poorly represented in the pollen shipments of E. mocsaryi, due to its large trophic niche in the locality. PMID:21271049

  15. The reproductive ecology of Medicago citrina (Font Quer) Greuter (Leguminosae): a bee-pollinated plant in Mediterranean islands where bees are absent

    OpenAIRE

    Pérez Bañón, Celeste; Juan Gallardo, Ana Isabel; Petanidou, Theodora; Marcos García, María Ángeles; Crespo Villalba, Manuel Benito

    2003-01-01

    The reproductive ecology of Medicago citrina was studied in the Columbretes archipelago (Mediterranean Sea), where bees are absent. The flowers were self-compatible, homogamous, nectar producers, depended on large floral visitors for tripping and pollination. Several characteristics of the reproductive biology of M. citrina indicate an adaptation to an isolated environment characterised by scarcity of appropriate pollinators. As a result of this scarcity, fruit and seed set under natural cond...

  16. The role of bee diversity in pollination and fruit set of yellow passion fruit (Passiflora edulis forma flavicarpa, Passifloraceae) crop in Central Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Yamamoto, Marcela; Silva, Cláudia; Augusto, Solange; Barbosa, Ana; Oliveira, Paulo

    2012-01-01

    Pollination is an important ecosystem service, especially to self-sterile crops as passion fruit, which depends on the large solitary bee for fruit set. We estimated the species richness of pollinators of yellow passion fruit in Central Brazil and examined whether there was any association with crop yield. We recorded 27 bee species on passion fruit flowers in commercial orchards in the region, from 2004 to 2007. Some 17 species were classified as pollinators (12 as effective and 5 as occasio...

  17. Pollination of lark daisy on roadsides declines as traffic speed increases along an Amazonian highway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dargas, J H F; Chaves, S R; Fischer, E

    2016-05-01

    Ecological disturbances caused by roadways have previously been reported, but traffic speed has not been addressed. We investigate effects of traffic speed on pollination of Centratherum punctatum (Asteraceae) along an Amazonian highway roadside. We hypothesised that frequency of flower visitors, duration of single visits and pollen deposition on stigmas will vary negatively as traffic speed increases. After measuring vehicle velocities, we classified three road sections as low-, mid- and high-velocity traffic. The main pollinator bee, Augochlora sp., visited C. punctatum inflorescences with decreasing frequency from low- to high-velocity roadside sections, whereas the nectar thief butterflies did the opposite. Duration of single visits by bees and butterflies was shorter, and arrival of pollen on C. punctatum stigmas was lower, in high- than in low-velocity roadside. Air turbulence due to passing vehicles increases with velocity and disturbed the flower visitors. Overall, results support that traffic velocity negatively affects foraging of flower visitors and the pollination of C. punctatum on roadsides. PMID:26809110

  18. Pollen Bearing Honey Bee Detection in Hive Entrance Video Recorded by Remote Embedded System for Pollination Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babic, Z.; Pilipovic, R.; Risojevic, V.; Mirjanic, G.

    2016-06-01

    Honey bees have crucial role in pollination across the world. This paper presents a simple, non-invasive, system for pollen bearing honey bee detection in surveillance video obtained at the entrance of a hive. The proposed system can be used as a part of a more complex system for tracking and counting of honey bees with remote pollination monitoring as a final goal. The proposed method is executed in real time on embedded systems co-located with a hive. Background subtraction, color segmentation and morphology methods are used for segmentation of honey bees. Classification in two classes, pollen bearing honey bees and honey bees that do not have pollen load, is performed using nearest mean classifier, with a simple descriptor consisting of color variance and eccentricity features. On in-house data set we achieved correct classification rate of 88.7% with 50 training images per class. We show that the obtained classification results are not far behind from the results of state-of-the-art image classification methods. That favors the proposed method, particularly having in mind that real time video transmission to remote high performance computing workstation is still an issue, and transfer of obtained parameters of pollination process is much easier.

  19. Functionality of Varroa-Resistant Honey Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) When Used for Western U.S. Honey Production and Almond Pollination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Two types of honey bees, Apis mellifera L., bred for resistance to Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman, were evaluated for performance when used for honey production in Montana, USA, and for almond pollination the following winter. Colonies of Russian honey bees (RHB) and outcrossed honey bees with...

  20. Bee population returns and cherry yields in an orchard pollinated with Osmia lignaria (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosch, Jordi; Kemp, William P; Trostle, Glen E

    2006-04-01

    During 1998-2003, we used populations of the solitary bee Osmia lignaria Say to pollinate a commercial sweet cherry orchard in northern Utah. Bee densities released each year ranged from 1290 to 1857 females/ha, with approximately twice as many males. Female progeny produced each year were greater than parental populations released, except in 2003, when nesting was poor due to bird predation. Despite poor weather during bloom, and in contrast to most other local producers, the study orchard produced harvestable crops in 1999 (2,964 kg/ha) and 2001 (3,154 kg/ha). In 1998 and 2000, record yields were obtained (10,625 and 12,096 kg/ha, respectively). Including only those years with harvestable crops, average production was 2.2 times higher in 1998-2003 (when O. lignaria populations were used) compared with 1992-1997 (when 10 Apis mellifera hives were used). This is the first study reporting multiyear cherry yields in an orchard pollinated with O. lignaria in North America. PMID:16686139

  1. Pollination of cucumber, Cucumis sativus L. (Cucurbitales: Cucurbitaceae), by the stingless bees Scaptotrigona aff. depilis moure and Nannotrigona testaceicornis Lepeletier (Hymenoptera: Meliponini) in greenhouses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Solange A B dos; Roselino, Ana C; Bego, Luci R

    2008-01-01

    When for a successful fruit development the fertilization of flowers is necessary, bees can be used as crop-pollinators in greenhouses. In the present study, we investigated the effectiveness of the stingless bees Scaptotrigona aff. depilis Moure and Nannotrigona testaceicornis Lepeletier as pollinators of cucumber plants (Cucumus sativus var. caipira) in greenhouses during the Brazilian winter season. The study was conducted in four greenhouses (GH), of which two greenhouses contained bee colonies to ascertain pollination of the cucumber plants (GH I, with S. aff. depilis, GH II, with N. testaceicornis), whereas the other two greenhouses (GH III, GH IV) had no bee colonies and served as control groups. Furthermore, we planted cucumbers in an open field plot (OA) where pollination by any/various visiting insects could occur. Each of the experimental areas measured 87.5 m2. Without pollination (GH III, GH IV), the plants produced a low number of cucumbers, and the fruits were smaller and less heavy than in those experimental areas where pollination occurred. In the open field area, not protected against unfavorable climatic conditions, the plants produced fewer flowers than the plants in the greenhouses. The highest cucumber yield (with the highest amount of perfect fruits) was found in those greenhouses which housed the stingless bees as pollinators (GH I, GH II). Our results demonstrate that stingless bees can be successfully and efficiently used as pollinators of greenhouse cucumbers during the winter season. PMID:19061034

  2. Blueberry floral attributes that enhance the pollinations efficiency of an oligolectic bee, osmia ribifloris cockerell (megachilidae:apoidea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    We evaluated relationships between floral morphology of 23 genotypes of southern blueberries and indicators of pollination efficiency (fruit set, fruit abortion, seed number, and berry size) for Osmia ribifloris Cockerell, a manageable solitary bee. Cultivated blueberry taxa had the largest flowers ...

  3. A simple model for pollen-parent fecundity distributions in bee-pollinated forage legume polycrosses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riday, Heathcliffe; Smith, Mark A; Peel, Michael D

    2015-09-01

    A simple Weibull distribution based empirical model that predicts pollen-parent fecundity distributions based on polycross size alone has been developed in outbred forage legume species for incorporation into quantitative genetic theory. Random mating or panmixis is a fundamental assumption in quantitative genetic theory. Random mating is sometimes thought to occur in actual fact, although a large body of empirical work shows that this is often not the case in nature. Models have been developed to explain many non-random mating phenomena. This paper measured pollen-parent fecundity distributions among outbred perennial forage legume species [autotetraploid alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), autohexaploid kura clover (Trifolium ambiguum M. Bieb.), and diploid red clover (Trifolium pratense L.)] in ten polycrosses ranging in size (N) from 9 to 94 pollinated with bee pollinators [Bumble Bees (Bombus impatiens Cr.) and leafcutter bees (Megachile rotundata F.)]. A Weibull distribution best fit the observed pollen-parent fecundity distributions. After standardizing data among the 10 polycrosses, a single Weibull distribution-based model was obtained with an R (2) of 0.978. The model is able to predict pollen-parent fecundity distributions based on polycross size alone. The model predicts that the effective polycross size will be approximately 9 % smaller than under random mating (i.e., N e/N ~ 0.91). The model is simple and can easily be incorporated into other models or simulations requiring a pollen-parent fecundity distribution. Further work is needed to determine how widely applicable the model is. PMID:26105686

  4. Increased Acetylcholinesterase Expression in Bumble Bees During Neonicotinoid-Coated Corn Sowing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samson-Robert, Olivier; Labrie, Geneviève; Mercier, Pierre-Luc; Chagnon, Madeleine; Derome, Nicolas; Fournier, Valérie

    2015-01-01

    While honey bee exposure to systemic insecticides has received much attention, impacts on wild pollinators have not been as widely studied. Neonicotinoids have been shown to increase acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in honey bees at sublethal doses. High AChE levels may therefore act as a biomarker of exposure to neonicotinoids. This two-year study focused on establishing whether bumble bees living and foraging in agricultural areas using neonicotinoid crop protection show early biochemical signs of intoxication. Bumble bee colonies (Bombus impatiens) were placed in two different agricultural cropping areas: 1) control (≥ 3 km from fields planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds) or 2) exposed (within 500 m of fields planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds), and maintained for the duration of corn sowing. As determined by Real Time qPCR, AChE mRNA expression was initially significantly higher in bumble bees from exposed sites, then decreased throughout the planting season to reach a similar endpoint to that of bumble bees from control sites. These findings suggest that exposure to neonicotinoid seed coating particles during the planting season can alter bumble bee neuronal activity. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report in situ that bumble bees living in agricultural areas exhibit signs of neonicotinoid intoxication. PMID:26223214

  5. Plant diversity increases spatio-temporal niche complementarity in plant-pollinator interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venjakob, Christine; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Ebeling, Anne; Tscharntke, Teja; Scherber, Christoph

    2016-04-01

    Ongoing biodiversity decline impairs ecosystem processes, including pollination. Flower visitation, an important indicator of pollination services, is influenced by plant species richness. However, the spatio-temporal responses of different pollinator groups to plant species richness have not yet been analyzed experimentally. Here, we used an experimental plant species richness gradient to analyze plant-pollinator interactions with an unprecedented spatio-temporal resolution. We observed four pollinator functional groups (honeybees, bumblebees, solitary bees, and hoverflies) in experimental plots at three different vegetation strata between sunrise and sunset. Visits were modified by plant species richness interacting with time and space. Furthermore, the complementarity of pollinator functional groups in space and time was stronger in species-rich mixtures. We conclude that high plant diversity should ensure stable pollination services, mediated via spatio-temporal niche complementarity in flower visitation. PMID:27069585

  6. Effectiveness of managed populations of wild and honey bees as supplemental pollinators of sour cherry (Prunus cerasus L.) under different climatic conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansted, Lise; Grout, Brian William Wilson; Toldam-Andersen, Torben Bo;

    2015-01-01

    rufa and B. terrestris to add to the pollination activity of conventionally employed A. mellifera. However, in a season with a less favourable weather history, and despite comparable activity of the three species during the pollen-receptive period, introduced bees had only a limited effect on fruit set...... and yield and could not raise yield above that of freely pollinated branches. The contribution of appropriately dense populations of introduced bees in the orchard, given favourable weather conditions, is clear, but maintenance of populations of introduced, wild bees, compared with honey bees may well...

  7. Biodiversity buffers pollination from changes in environmental conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brittain, Claire; Kremen, Claire; Klein, Alexandra-Maria

    2013-02-01

    A hypothesized underlying principle of the diversity-functioning relationship is that functional groups respond differently to environmental change. Over 3 years, we investigated how pollinator diversity contributes to the magnitude of pollination service through spatial complementarity and differential response to high winds in California almond orchards. We found honey bees preferentially visited the top sections of the tree. Where wild pollinators were present, they showed spatial complementarity to honey bees and visited the bottom tree sections more frequently. As wind speed increased, honey bees' spatial preference shifted toward the bottom tree sections. In high winds (>2.5 m s(-1) ), orchards with low pollinator diversity (honey bees only) received almost no flower visits. In orchards with high pollinator diversity, visitation decreased to a lesser extent as wild bee visitation was unaffected by high winds. Our results demonstrate how spatial complementarity in diverse communities can help buffer pollination services to environmental changes like wind speed. PMID:23504791

  8. Pesticide exposure in honey bees results in increased levels of the gut pathogen Nosema

    OpenAIRE

    Pettis, Jeffery S.; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Johnson, Josephine; Dively, Galen

    2012-01-01

    Global pollinator declines have been attributed to habitat destruction, pesticide use, and climate change or some combination of these factors, and managed honey bees, Apis mellifera, are part of worldwide pollinator declines. Here we exposed honey bee colonies during three brood generations to sub-lethal doses of a widely used pesticide, imidacloprid, and then subsequently challenged newly emerged bees with the gut parasite, Nosema spp. The pesticide dosages used were below levels demonstrat...

  9. Honey bee contribution to canola pollination in Southern Brazil Abelhas melíferas na polinização de canola no Sul do Brasil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annelise de Souza Rosa

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Although canola, (Brassica napus L., is considered a self-pollinating crop, researchers have indicated that crop productivity increases as a result of honey bee Apis mellifera L. pollination. Given this crop's growing importance in Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil, this work evaluated the increase in pod and seed productivity with respect to interactions with anthophilous insects and manual pollination tests. The visiting frequency of A. mellifera was correlated with the crop's blooming progression, and productivity comparisons were made between plants visited by insects, manually pollinated plants (geitonogamy and xenogamy and plants without pollination induction. Pod set and seed production per plant were determined for each treatment. Among the 8,624 recorded flower-visiting insects, Hymenoptera representatives were the most prevalent (92.3%, among which 99.8% were A. mellifera. The correlation between these bees and blooming progression was positive (r = 0.87; p = 0.002. Pollination induction increased seed productivity from 28.4% (autogamy to 50.4% with insect visitations, as well as to 48.7 (geitonogamy and to 55.1% (xenogamy through manual pollination.A canola (Brassica napus L. é considerada autocompatível, embora pesquisadores indiquem aumento na produtividade da cultura resultante da polinização efetuada por Apis mellifera L.. Considerando-se a crescente importância dessa cultura no Rio Grande do Sul, avaliou-se o incremento da produtividade de síliquas e sementes a partir de interações com insetos antófilos e com testes de polinização manual. A freqüência de visitas de A. mellifera foi relacionada com o desenvolvimento da floração da cultura e a produtividade foi comparada entre plantas visitadas por insetos, polinizadas manualmente (geitonogamia e xenogamia e com ausência de indução de polinização. Em cada tratamento avaliou-se a produtividade de síliquas e de sementes formadas por planta. Dentre os 8.624 insetos

  10. Pollination efficiency and effectiveness or bumble bees and hummingbirds visiting Delphinium nelsonii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Waser, Nicholas M.

    1990-12-01

    Full Text Available Delphinium nelsonii Greene is a spring-flowering perennial of the Rocky Mountains of North America. Its blue flowers conform to a classical «bee pollination syndrome», but in western Colorado they are visited by hummingbirds (mostly in the first half of the flowering season as well as bumble bee queens (mostly in the second half of the season. Experiments with potted plants showed that a bee deposits about 10 times as much pollen while visiting a flower as does a bird, and causes about la times as many seeds to be set. In contrast, bees and birds appear similar in the «quality» of pollen they deliver, e. g., in its outcrossing distance. At the level of entire pollinator populations, hummingbird visitation rates may be over 10 times as great as those or bumble bees, in part because birds visit flowers more quickly. Thus the two visitor classes should deliver similar pollen quantities overall, which is confirmed by similar pollen loads of flowers early and late in the season, and should contribute about equally to seed set, which is confirmed by several experiments and observations. Exact relative contributions probably depend on pollinator population sizes, which in the case of hummingbirds appear to have varied 2.5 fold across 14 years. The similar contributions or birds and bees lo seed set shows that individual pollination efficiency must be distinguished from population-level effectiveness. and that the «pollination syndrome» of a flower may not indicate present-day effectiveness of its visitors.

    [ca] Delphinium nelsonii Greene és una planta perenne de floració primaveral que creix a les Muntanyes Rocoses de Nordamèrica. Les seves flors blaves s'acorden a la clàssica (síndrome de pol-linització per abellots», però, a l'oest de Colorado, són visitades per colibrís (durant la primera meitat del període de floració així com per reines d'abellots (principalment durant la segona meitat del període. Els

  11. The Potential Influence of Bumble Bee Visitation on Foraging Behaviors and Assemblages of Honey Bees on Squash Flowers in Highland Agricultural Ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Zhenghua; Pan, Dongdong; Teichroew, Jonathan; An, Jiandong

    2016-01-01

    Bee species interactions can benefit plant pollination through synergistic effects and complementary effects, or can be of detriment to plant pollination through competition effects by reducing visitation by effective pollinators. Since specific bee interactions influence the foraging performance of bees on flowers, they also act as drivers to regulate the assemblage of flower visitors. We selected squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) and its pollinators as a model system to study the foraging response of honey bees to the occurrence of bumble bees at two types of sites surrounded by a high amount of natural habitats (≥ 58% of land cover) and a low amount of natural habitats (≤ 12% of land cover) in a highland agricultural ecosystem in China. At the individual level, we measured the elapsed time from the departure of prior pollinator(s) to the arrival of another pollinator, the selection of honey bees for flowers occupied by bumble bees, and the length of time used by honey bees to explore floral resources at the two types of sites. At the community level, we explored the effect of bumble bee visitation on the distribution patterns of honey bees on squash flowers. Conclusively, bumble bee visitation caused an increase in elapsed time before flowers were visited again by a honey bee, a behavioral avoidance by a newly-arriving honey bee to select flowers occupied by bumble bees, and a shortened length of time the honey bee takes to examine and collect floral resources. The number of overall bumble bees on squash flowers was the most important factor explaining the difference in the distribution patterns of honey bees at the community level. Furthermore, decline in the number of overall bumble bees on the squash flowers resulted in an increase in the number of overall honey bees. Therefore, our study suggests that bee interactions provide an opportunity to enhance the resilience of ecosystem pollination services against the decline in pollinator diversity. PMID:26765140

  12. The Potential Influence of Bumble Bee Visitation on Foraging Behaviors and Assemblages of Honey Bees on Squash Flowers in Highland Agricultural Ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhenghua Xie

    Full Text Available Bee species interactions can benefit plant pollination through synergistic effects and complementary effects, or can be of detriment to plant pollination through competition effects by reducing visitation by effective pollinators. Since specific bee interactions influence the foraging performance of bees on flowers, they also act as drivers to regulate the assemblage of flower visitors. We selected squash (Cucurbita pepo L. and its pollinators as a model system to study the foraging response of honey bees to the occurrence of bumble bees at two types of sites surrounded by a high amount of natural habitats (≥ 58% of land cover and a low amount of natural habitats (≤ 12% of land cover in a highland agricultural ecosystem in China. At the individual level, we measured the elapsed time from the departure of prior pollinator(s to the arrival of another pollinator, the selection of honey bees for flowers occupied by bumble bees, and the length of time used by honey bees to explore floral resources at the two types of sites. At the community level, we explored the effect of bumble bee visitation on the distribution patterns of honey bees on squash flowers. Conclusively, bumble bee visitation caused an increase in elapsed time before flowers were visited again by a honey bee, a behavioral avoidance by a newly-arriving honey bee to select flowers occupied by bumble bees, and a shortened length of time the honey bee takes to examine and collect floral resources. The number of overall bumble bees on squash flowers was the most important factor explaining the difference in the distribution patterns of honey bees at the community level. Furthermore, decline in the number of overall bumble bees on the squash flowers resulted in an increase in the number of overall honey bees. Therefore, our study suggests that bee interactions provide an opportunity to enhance the resilience of ecosystem pollination services against the decline in pollinator diversity.

  13. Pollination Strategies to Increase Productivity of the African Fruit Trees Vitellaria paradoxa subsp. paradoxa & Parkia biglobosa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lassen, Kristin Marie

    trees yielded significantly more than trees without nests. Furthermore, a relationship between fertilisation percentages and number of honey bee colonies within radii of 900 m and 1,000 m was found. Parkia biglobosa is known to be pollinated by bats, and the study in The Gambia showed that honey bees...... were also effective pollinators. Furthermore, in absence of bats and honey bees, stingless bees were found to be able to partly compensate honey bees, but the pods had more aborted seeds. In Burkina Faso, two climatically different study sites were used for studying the potential impact of climate...... changes on the pollination ecology of P. biglobosa. In the drier site, the tree density was lower and only few bats were present. Honey bees were found to be the main pollinators, and the pollination by small bees (stingless and solitary bees) resulted in very few pods. In the more humid site, tree...

  14. Lack of pollinators limits fruit production in commercial blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benjamin, Faye E; Winfree, Rachael

    2014-12-01

    Modern agriculture relies on domesticated pollinators such as the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.), and to a lesser extent on native pollinators, for the production of animal-pollinated crops. There is growing concern that pollinator availability may not keep pace with increasing agricultural production. However, whether crop production is in fact pollen-limited at the field scale has rarely been studied. Here, we ask whether commercial highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) production in New Jersey is limited by a lack of pollination even when growers provide honey bees at recommended densities. We studied two varieties of blueberry over 3 yr to determine whether blueberry crop production is pollen-limited and to measure the relative contributions of honey bees and native bees to blueberry pollination. We found two lines of evidence for pollen limitation. First, berries receiving supplemental hand-pollination were generally heavier than berries receiving ambient pollination. Second, mean berry mass increased significantly and nonasymptotically with honey bee flower visitation rate. While honey bees provided 86% of pollination and thus drove the findings reported above, native bees still contributed 14% of total pollination even in our conventionally managed, high-input agricultural system. Honey bees and native bees were also similarly efficient as pollinators on a per-visit basis. Overall, our study shows that pollination can be a limiting factor in commercial fruit production. Yields might increase with increased honey bee stocking rates and improved dispersal of hives within crop fields, and with habitat restoration to increase pollination provided by native bees. PMID:25313694

  15. Floral divergence, pollinator partitioning and the spatiotemporal pattern of plant-pollinator interactions in three sympatric Adenophora species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chang-Qiu; Huang, Shuang-Quan

    2013-12-01

    Floral divergence among congeners may relate to differential utilization of pollinators and contribute to reducing overlap in pollination niches. To investigate whether and how floral differences are associated with differential utilization of pollinators in three sympatric Adenophora species, we analyzed floral traits and evaluated the contribution of different visitors to pollination. We compared visitation rates of different pollinator categories in different years and sites. A suite of floral traits differed among the three Adenophora species, suggesting adaptation to diurnal versus nocturnal pollination and an intermediate condition. However, many visitor species were shared among the three plant species, suggesting that floral traits did not rigorously filter visitors. Effective pollinators were large bees and moths. The importance of large bees as pollinators decreased whereas that of moths increased along the gradient from typically bee-pollinated to moth-pollinated flowers. The intermediate species (A. khasiana) differed substantially from the other two species in pollinator species but not in pollinator categories. The principal pollinator category of each species was constant across years and sites except in the intermediate species where it differed between two sites. Overall, the three sympatric species of Adenophora partition pollinators by floral divergence and the principal pollinators coincide with the predictions based on floral syndromes. PMID:23824141

  16. Tracking Climate Effects on Plant-Pollinator Interaction Phenology with Satellites and Honey Bee Hives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esaias, Wayne E.; Nickeson, Jaime E.; Tan, Bin; Ma, Peter L.; Nightingale, Joanne M.; Wolfe, Robert E.

    2011-01-01

    Background/Question/Methods: The complexity of plant-pollinator interactions, the large number of species involved, and the lack of species response functions present challenges to understanding how these critical interactions may be impacted by climate and land cover change on large scales. Given the importance of this interaction for terrestrial ecosystems, it is desirable to develop new approaches. We monitor the daily weight change of honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies to record the phenology of the Honey Bee Nectar Flow (HBNF) in a volunteer network (honeybeenet.gsfc.nasa.gov). The records document the successful interaction of a generalist pollinator with a variety of plant resources. We extract useful HBNF phenology metrics for three seasons. Sites currently exist in 35 states/provinces in North America, with a concentration in the Mid-Atlantic region. HBNF metrics are compared to standard phenology metrics derived from remotely sensed vegetation indices from NASA's MODIS sensor and published results from NOAA's A VHRR. At any given time the percentage of plants producing nectar is usually a sma11 fraction of the total satellite sensor signal. We are interested in determining how well the 'bulk' satellite vegetation parameters relate to the phenology of the HBNF, and how it varies spatially on landscape to continental scales. Results/Conclusions: We found the median and peak seasonal HBNF dates to be robust, with variation between replicate scale hives of only a few days. We developed quality assessment protocols to identify abnormal colony artifacts. Temporally, the peak and median of the HBNF in the Mid-Atlantic show a significant advance of 0.58 d/y beginning about 1970, very similar to that observed by the A VHRR since 1982 (0.57 d/y). Spatially, the HBNF metrics are highly correlated with elevation and winter minimum temperature distribution, and exhibit significant but regionally coherent inter-annual variation. The relationship between median of the

  17. Honey bee as an effective pollinating agent of pumpkin Abelha melífera como eficiente agente polinizador de moranga

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Nicodemo

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available The production of fruits and seeds of many crops is increased when bees visit their flowers pollinating them. The aim of this research was to study the pollination of pumpkins (Cucurbita maxima Duch. var. Exposição, to determine the diversity of insects visiting its flowers, the time and type of provision obtained and the effect of the visits on fruit set, fruit size and weight, and number of seeds. Apis mellifera L. accounted for 73.4% of the visits made by bees, collecting pollen during 34.5 s per flower and nectar in 43.9 s and 29.3 s from female and male flowers, respectively. Trigona spinipes (Fabr. collected only nectar, during a mean time of 60.5 s per flower, and represented 26.6% of the visits by bees. Diabrotica speciosa (Germ. only fed on the petals of the flower. When no insect visits occurred, there was no production of fruits. In the flowers with free visitation by insects, fruit set was 40%. The higher the number of visits, up to 16, by A. mellifera to female flowers, the greater was the fruit set, fruit size and weight, and number of seeds. In flowers visited by insects from the onset of anthesis until 9 a.m., fruit set was 35%. After 9 a.m., there was no fruit set, demonstrating the important role of A. mellifera as a pollinating agent of pumpkin, since it was the only insect visiting up to 9 a.m.A produção de frutos e sementes de várias culturas é favorecida quando abelhas visitam suas flores, efetuando a polinização. O objetivo deste trabalho foi estudar a polinização em moranga (Cucurbita maxima Duch. var. Exposição, no que se refere à identificação dos insetos que visitam mais freqüentemente suas flores, o tempo e tipo de recurso floral coletado e o resultado das visitas destes insetos na frutificação, tamanho, peso e número de sementes dos frutos. Apis mellifera L. foi responsável por 73.4% das visitas realizadas por abelhas, coletando pólen em 34.5 s e néctar em 43.9 s e 29.3 s, respectivamente para

  18. Large pollen loads of a South African asclepiad do not interfere with the foraging behaviour or efficiency of pollinating honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coombs, G.; Dold, A. P.; Brassine, E. I.; Peter, C. I.

    2012-07-01

    The pollen of asclepiads (Asclepiadoideae, Apocynaceae) and most orchids (Orchidaceae) are packaged as large aggregations known as pollinaria that are removed as entire units by pollinators. In some instances, individual pollinators may accumulate large loads of these pollinaria. We found that the primary pollinator of Cynanchum ellipticum (Apocynaceae—Asclepiadoideae), the honey bee Apis mellifera, accumulate very large agglomerations of pollinaria on their mouthparts when foraging on this species. We tested whether large pollinarium loads negatively affected the foraging behaviour and foraging efficiency of honey bees by slowing foraging speeds or causing honey bees to visit fewer flowers, and found no evidence to suggest that large pollinarium loads altered foraging behaviour. C. ellipticum displayed consistently high levels of pollination success and pollen transfer efficiency (PTE). This may be a consequence of efficiently loading large numbers of pollinaria onto pollinators even when primary points of attachment on pollinators are already occupied and doing so in a manner that does not impact the foraging behaviour of pollinating insects.

  19. Pollination efficiency of the stingless bee Melipona subnitida on greenhouse sweet pepper Eficiência de polinização da abelha sem ferrão Melipona subnitida na cultura do pimentão em casa de vegetação

    OpenAIRE

    Darci de Oliveira Cruz; Breno Magalhães Freitas; Luis Antônio da Silva; Eva Mônica.Sarmento da Silva; Isac Gabriel Abrahão Bomfim

    2005-01-01

    The present study was carried out in Northeastern Region of Brazil, in order to investigate the use of stingless bee Melipona subnitida Ducke in the pollination of greenhouse sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum L.). Treatments of hand cross-pollination, hand self-pollination, pollination by bees and restricted pollination were performed. Results showed that despite sweet pepper flowers are considered autogamous, this crop benefits from pollination by M. subnitida, producing fruits significantly hea...

  20. Evolution of sexual mimicry in the orchid subtribe orchidinae: the role of preadaptations in the attraction of male bees as pollinators

    OpenAIRE

    Cozzolino Salvatore; Schiestl Florian P

    2008-01-01

    Abstract Background Within the astonishing diversity of orchid pollination systems, sexual deception is one of the most stunning. An example is the genus Ophrys, where plants attract male bees as pollinators by mimicking female mating signals. Unsaturated hydrocarbons (alkenes) are often the key signal for this chemical mimicry. Here we investigate the evolution of these key compounds within Orchidinae by mapping their production in flowers of selected species onto their estimated phylogeny. ...

  1. Evolution of sexual mimicry in the orchid subtribe orchidinae: the role of preadaptations in the attraction of male bees as pollinators

    OpenAIRE

    Schiestl, F. P.; Cozzolino, S.

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Within the astonishing diversity of orchid pollination systems, sexual deception is one of the most stunning. An example is the genus Ophrys, where plants attract male bees as pollinators by mimicking female mating signals. Unsaturated hydrocarbons (alkenes) are often the key signal for this chemical mimicry. Here we investigate the evolution of these key compounds within Orchidinae by mapping their production in flowers of selected species onto their estimated phylogeny. RESULTS:...

  2. Review of Crop Pollination by Honey Bees World-wide%全球农作物蜜蜂授粉概况

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    安建东; 陈文锋

    2011-01-01

    蜜蜂是自然界最主要的授粉昆虫,在保持生物多样性和维持生态系统平衡方面发挥着极为重要的作用,尤其是为农作物授粉,具有重要的经济价值和社会效应.笔者主要从蜜蜂在生态系统中的作用、蜜蜂授粉在全球农业生产中的地位、发达国家或地区蜜蜂授粉概括、世界农作物属性种植变化趋势和世界蜂群数量动态变化等方面阐述了全球农作物蜜蜂授粉现状,并分析了中国农作物蜜蜂授粉的现状、存在问题及应对措施.%Honey bees are among the most important pollinators in natural ecosystems world-wide, playing a major role in maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function.Honey bees are also of major economic importance for crop pollination.In this paper, the author reviewed the role of honey bees in ecosystems, the importance of pollination by honey bees in global agricultural production, pollination by honey bees in developed countries, trends in the cultivation of different crops world-wide, and changes in the number of honey bee colonies world-wide.Finally, the author analyzed the current situation, the problems, and some solutions for crop pollination by honey bees in China.

  3. Bees substitute birds in pollination of ornitogamous climber Campsis radicans (L. Seem. in Poland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iwona Kołodziejska-Degórska

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Campsis radicans is an attractive climber with typical ornitogamous flowers, native to North America. In natural conditions this out-crossed plant is pollinated mostly by hummingbirds. In Poland, where C. radicans is cultivated as ornamental, it rarely sets seeds. The questions addressed in the present study were: (1 What animals pollinate its flowers in Poland?, and (2 What is the reason for infrequent fruit set? Field studies conducted in five localities in Poland showed that the principal pollinator is Apis mellifera, and the lack of seeds is usually caused by pollinator limitation or absence of genetically different pollen donor plants.

  4. Large-scale pollination experiment demonstrates the importance of insect pollination in winter oilseed rape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindström, Sandra A M; Herbertsson, Lina; Rundlöf, Maj; Smith, Henrik G; Bommarco, Riccardo

    2016-03-01

    Insect pollination, despite its potential to contribute substantially to crop production, is not an integrated part of agronomic planning. A major reason for this are knowledge gaps in the contribution of pollinators to yield, which partly result from difficulties in determining area-based estimates of yield effects from insect pollination under field conditions. We have experimentally manipulated honey bee Apis mellifera densities at 43 oilseed rape Brassica napus fields over 2 years in Scandinavia. Honey bee hives were placed in 22 fields; an additional 21 fields without large apiaries in the surrounding landscape were selected as controls. Depending on the pollination system in the parental generation, the B. napus cultivars in the crop fields are classified as either open-pollinated or first-generation hybrids, with both types being open-pollinated in the generation of plants cultivated in the fields. Three cultivars of each type were grown. We measured the activity of flower-visiting insects during flowering and estimated yields by harvesting with small combine harvesters. The addition of honey bee hives to the fields dramatically increased abundance of flower-visiting honey bees in those fields. Honey bees affected yield, but the effect depended on cultivar type (p = 0.04). Post-hoc analysis revealed that open-pollinated cultivars, but not hybrid cultivars, had 11% higher yields in fields with added honey bees than those grown in the control fields (p = 0.07). To our knowledge, this is the first whole-field study in replicated landscapes to assess the benefit of insect pollination in oilseed rape. Our results demonstrate that honey bees have the potential to increase oilseed rape yields, thereby emphasizing the importance of pollinator management for optimal cultivation of oilseed rape. PMID:26650584

  5. Lessons learned by the Managed Pollinator CAP: The impact of Varroa parasitism on honey bee health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Several years of work consolidated under the Cooperative Agricultural Project (CAP) has allowed a multi-institutional group of scientists to address complex questions related to the decline of honey bee populations. The group implemented a coordinated multi-state approach to improve bee management...

  6. Pollination deficit in open-field tomato crops (Solanum lycopersicum L., Solanaceae in Rio de Janeiro state, Southeast Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana Scaramussa Deprá

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available More than 70% of world’s crops benefit from biotic pollination, and bees are their main pollinators. Despite the fact that some of these insects have been broadly studied, understanding the interactions between plant crops and their pollinators with a local scale approach is necessary when aiming to apply proper protective and management measures to pollinators and their respective crops. In this context, we analyzed the pollination status of open-field tomato crops (Solanum lycopersicum L., regarding fruit-set, visitation rate and the quality of fruits. We recorded the formation of fruits through spontaneous self-pollination and open-pollination, and the occurrence of pollinators in 24 areas of open-field tomato crops. We performed experiments of apomixis, spontaneous self-pollination, manual cross pollination and supplemental cross pollination (simulating the pollinator behavior in a greenhouse. The fruit quality was evaluated according to circumference, weight, volume and number of seeds. Higher production of fruits after open-pollination compared to spontaneous self-pollination indicates the importance of pollinators to increment productivity of S. lycopersicum in the study area. The circumference and the number of seeds from tomatoes of the greenhouse plantation did not differ between spontaneous self-pollination and the manual cross pollination. In the open-field crops the number of seeds was higher for fruits resulting from open-pollination. Our results indicate that the importance of bees is mainly related to the increase in fruit production, thus incrementing the productivity of tomato crops.

  7. Pollination deficit in open-field tomato crops (Solanum lycopersicum L., Solanaceae in Rio de Janeiro state, Southeast Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Cristina Gaglianone

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available More than 70% of world’s crops benefit from biotic pollination, and bees are their main pollinators. Despite the fact that some of these insects have been broadly studied, understanding the interactions between plant crops and their pollinators with a local scale approach is necessary when aiming to apply proper protective and management measures to pollinators and their respective crops. In this context, we analyzed the pollination status of open-field tomato crops (Solanum lycopersicum L., regarding fruit-set, visitation rate and the quality of fruits. We recorded the formation of fruits through spontaneous self-pollination and open-pollination, and the occurrence of pollinators in 24 areas of open-field tomato crops. We performed experiments of apomixis, spontaneous self-pollination, manual cross pollination and supplemental cross pollination (simulating the pollinator behavior in a greenhouse. The fruit quality was evaluated according to circumference, weight, volume and number of seeds. Higher production of fruits after open-pollination compared to spontaneous self-pollination indicates the importance of pollinators to increment productivity of S. lycopersicum in the study area. The circumference and the number of seeds from tomatoes of the greenhouse plantation did not differ between spontaneous self-pollination and the manual cross pollination. In the open-field crops the number of seeds was higher for fruits resulting from open-pollination. Our results indicate that the importance of bees is mainly related to the increase in fruit production, thus incrementing the productivity of tomato crops.

  8. Strong pollinator-mediated selection for increased flower brightness and contrast in a deceptive orchid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sletvold, Nina; Trunschke, Judith; Smit, Mart; Verbeek, Jeffrey; Ågren, Jon

    2016-03-01

    Contrasting flower color patterns that putatively attract or direct pollinators toward a reward are common among angiosperms. In the deceptive orchid Anacamptis morio, the lower petal, which makes up most of the floral display, has a light central patch with dark markings. Within populations, there is pronounced variation in petal brightness, patch size, amount of dark markings, and contrast between patch and petal margin. We tested whether pollinators mediate selection on these color traits and on morphology (plant height, number of flowers, corolla size, spur length), and whether selection is consistent with facilitated or negative frequency-dependent pollination. Pollinators mediated strong selection for increased petal brightness (Δβpoll = 0.42) and contrast (Δβpoll = 0.51). Pollinators also tended to mediate stabilizing selection on brightness (Δγpoll = -0.27, n.s.) favoring the most common phenotype in the population. Selection for reduced petal brightness among hand-pollinated plants indicated a fitness cost associated with brightness. The results demonstrate that flower color traits influence pollination success and seed production in A. morio, indicating that they affect attractiveness to pollinators, efficiency of pollen transfer, or both. The documented selection is consistent with facilitated pollination and selection for color convergence toward cooccurring rewarding species. PMID:26878831

  9. Evaluating pollination deficits in pumpkin production in New York.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, J D; Huseth, A S; Nault, B A

    2014-10-01

    Potential decreases in crop yield from reductions in bee-mediated pollination services threaten food production demands of a growing population. Many fruit and vegetable growers supplement their fields with bee colonies during crop bloom. The extent to which crop production requires supplementary pollination services beyond those provided by wild bees is not well documented. Pumpkin, Cucurbita pepo L., requires bee-mediated pollination for fruit development. Previous research identified the common eastern bumble bee, Bombus impatiens (Cresson), as the most efficient pumpkin pollinator. Two concomitant studies were conducted to examine pollination deficits in New York pumpkin fields from 2011 to 2013. In the first study, fruit weight, seed set, and B. impatiens visits to pumpkin flowers were compared across fields supplemented with B. impatiens colonies at a recommended stocking density of five colonies per hectare, a high density of 15 colonies per hectare, or not supplemented with bees. In the second study, fruit weight and seed set of pumpkins that received supplemental pollen through hand-pollination were compared with those that were open-pollinated by wild bees. Results indicated that supplementing pumpkin fields with B. impatiens colonies, regardless of stocking density, did not increase fruit weight, seed set, or B. impatiens visits to pumpkin flowers. Fruit weight and seed set did not differ between hand- and open-pollinated treatments. In general, we conclude that pumpkin production in central New York is not limited by inadequate pollination services provided by wild bees and that on average, supplementation with B. impatiens colonies did not improve pumpkin yield. PMID:25198126

  10. Losses of Brazilian bees: an overview of factors that may affect these pollinators

    OpenAIRE

    Carvalho, Stephan; Roat, Thaisa; Pereira, Andrigo M.; Silva-Zacarin, Elaine; Nocelli, Roberta C. F.; Carvalho, César; MALASPINA, Osmar

    2012-01-01

    The Neotropical region to which Brazil belongs, has a great and rich diversity of natives bees, up to a total of 3.000 species including the allochtone genus Apis that by natural crossing among European and African races produced a hybrid called Africanized honeybee. In this way, beekeeping enjoys a spectacular moment with good production mainly of honey and propolis from Apis mellifera, causing Brazil to be recognized around the world as a country with great potential. Brazilian bee losses n...

  11. HONEY BEES–POTENTIAL POLLINATORS IN HYBRID SEED PRODUCTION OF SUNFLOWER

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Rajasri

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available A study was conducted to find out the role of honeybees on pollination, seed setting and seedquality of hybrid sunflower. The foraging behavior of natural bee visitants was studied on the parental lines ofsunflower hybrid NDSH1 during the flowering period. Most predominant bees observed are Rock bees, Apisdorsata, European bee, Apis mellifera,Indian bee, Apis cerana indica and Stingless bees, Trigona irridipenis.Bee visitants are more on R line compared to A line. The seed setting percentage and seed yield weresignificantly increased when the honeybees were supplemented to the open pollination. The yields weredrastically reduced when the crop was covered with insect proof net. In addition, increased seedling vigour,germination%, field emergence, oil content and quality of seed was observed with the deployment of honey beescoupled with supplemental hand pollination.

  12. Evolution of autonomous selfing accompanies increased specialization in the pollination system of Schizanthus (Solanaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez, Fernanda; Arroyo, Mary T K; Armesto, Juan J

    2009-06-01

    The co-occurrence of elaborate flowers visited by specific groups of pollinators and capacity for autonomous selfing in the same plant species has puzzled evolutionary biologists since the time of Charles Darwin. To examine whether autonomous selfing and floral specialization evolved in association, we quantified the autofertility level (AFI) in nine Schizanthus species characterized by a wide range of pollination specialization, revealing AFI values of 0.02 to complete selfing. An independent contrasts analysis conducted on AFIs and number of functional pollinator groups showed that autonomous selfing evolved from an ancestral outcrossing system as plants became increasingly specialized (r = -0.82). To assess whether autonomous selfing together with specialization acts as a reproductive assurance mechanism, we estimated spatial and interannual variation in fruit set due to pollinator failure in two closely related high Andean Schizanthus species differing in their specialization levels. Variation in pollinator failure rate was more pronounced and autonomous selfing increased fruit production over biotically assisted pollination in the more specialized species. Our study suggests that specialized pollination deems species more vulnerable to pollinator fluctuation thus promoting the evolution of delayed autonomous selfing. PMID:21628267

  13. Care for bees: for many reasons and in many ways

    OpenAIRE

    Blacquiere, T.

    2010-01-01

    Pollinating insects are in decline, probably worldwide. This may imply a pollination crisis, for (food) crops as well as wild plants. Eventually this decline might result in great economic losses, a human food crisis and loss of natural biodiversity. Although the world population of honeybee colonies still increases (despite decreases in many countries) it is urgently needed to take care for bees and other pollinators. Possible drivers for the decline of insect pollinators in general are (1) ...

  14. Learning Ability and Factors Influencing Nest Establishment of the Solitary Bees Osmia lignaria and Megachile rotundata (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Vorel, Cory A.

    2010-01-01

    Over the last several decades, the use of solitary bees as an alternative to honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) for pollination of commercial crops has increased, in part as a response to ongoing problems faced by commercial honey bee populations. Two solitary bee species have exhibited great commercial potential: the blue orchard bee, Osmia lignaria Say, and the alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata Fabricius (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). However, growth of O. lignaria and M. rotundata ...

  15. Enhancing Legume Ecosystem Services through an Understanding of Plant–Pollinator Interplay

    OpenAIRE

    Suso, María J.; Bebeli, Penelope J.; Christmann, Stefanie; Mateus, Célia; NEGRI, Valeria; Pinheiro de Carvalho, Miguel A. A.; Torricelli, Renzo; Veloso, Maria M.

    2016-01-01

    Legumes are bee-pollinated, but to a different extent. The importance of the plant–pollinator interplay (PPI), in flowering crops such as legumes lies in a combination of the importance of pollination for the production service and breeding strategies, plus the increasing urgency in mitigating the decline of pollinators through the development and implementation of conservation measures. To realize the full potential of the PPI, a multidisciplinary approach is required. This article assembles...

  16. A Survey of Bee Species Found Pollinating Watermelons in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. S. Henne

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Using a combination of flower traps and visual observations, we surveyed three watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thunb. Matsum. & Nakai fields in the Lower Rio Grande Valley to determine what bees inhabit this crop in this region. No managed honey bee (Apis mellifera L. hives were in any of the fields; however, two contained managed hives of the common eastern bumble bee, Bombus impatiens (Cresson. A total of 15 species were collected or observed from all three fields combined. Of these species, only four were found to be very abundant: Agapostemon angelicus Cockerell/texanus Cresson, A. mellifera, Lasioglossum coactum (Cresson, and Melissodes thelypodii Cockerell. Apis mellifera comprised 46% of all bees collected from all three fields combined and was highly abundant in two of the three fields. In the third field, however, A. mellifera and Agapostemon angelicus/texanus were equally abundant. Surprisingly, B. impatiens comprised only 1% of the total bees surveyed in all three fields combined, despite two of the fields having several managed hives each. As B. impatiens is not native to this region, it was not surprising that none were collected or observed in the field with no managed hives.

  17. Bombus huntii, Bombus impatiens, and Bombus vosnesenskii (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Pollinate Greenhouse-Grown Tomatoes in Western North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strange, James P

    2015-06-01

    Bumble bees (Bombus) are the primary pollinators of tomatoes grown in greenhouses and can significantly increase fruit weight compared with tomatoes that receive no supplemental pollination. More than a million colonies are sold worldwide annually to meet pollination needs. Due to mounting concerns over the transportation of bumble bees outside of their native ranges, several species native to western North American are currently being investigated as potential commercial pollinators. Here, two western, Bombus huntii Greene and Bombus vosnesenskii Radoszkowski, and one eastern species, Bombus impatiens Cresson, are compared for their efficacy as pollinators of greenhouse-grown tomatoes. In two experiments, colonies were placed in greenhouses and compared with control plants that received no supplemental pollination. In the first experiment, seed set was significantly increased with B. huntii pollination in one variety of cherry tomatoes. In the second experiment comparing all three bumble bee species, fruit weight was an average of 25.2 g heavier per fruit pollinated by bees versus the control, and the number of days to harvest was 2.9 d shorter for bee-pollinated fruit. In some rounds of pollination, differences were found among bumble bee species, but these were inconsistent across replicates and not statistically significant overall. Additionally, fruit weight was shown to be highly correlated to fruit diameter and seed set in all tests and, thus, is shown to be a reliable metric for assessing pollination in future studies. These results suggest that commercialization of western bumble bees is a viable alternative to the current practices of moving of nonnative bees into western North America to pollinate tomatoes. PMID:26470206

  18. Crop domestication facilitated rapid geographical expansion of a specialist pollinator, the squash bee Peponapis pruinosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Uribe, Margarita M; Cane, James H; Minckley, Robert L; Danforth, Bryan N

    2016-06-29

    Squash was first domesticated in Mexico and is now found throughout North America (NA) along with Peponapis pruinosa, a pollen specialist bee species of the squash genus Cucurbita The origin and spread of squash cultivation is well-studied archaeologically and phylogenetically; however, no study has documented how cultivation of this or any other crop has influenced species in mutualistic interactions. We used molecular markers to reconstruct the demographic range expansion and colonization routes of P. pruinosa from its native range into temperate NA. Populations east of the Rocky Mountains expanded from the wild host plant's range in Mexico and were established by a series of founder events. Eastern North America was most likely colonized from squash bee populations in the present-day continental Midwest USA and not from routes that followed the Gulf and Atlantic coasts from Mexico. Populations of P. pruinosa west of the Rockies spread north from the warm deserts much more recently, showing two genetically differentiated populations with no admixture: one in California and the other one in eastern Great Basin. These bees have repeatedly endured severe bottlenecks as they colonized NA, following human spread of their Cucurbita pollen hosts during the Holocene. PMID:27335417

  19. Ecological and evolutionary conditions for fruit abortion to regulate pollinating seed-eaters and increase plant production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holland, J. Nathaniel; DeAngelis, Donald L.

    2002-01-01

    Coevolved mutualisms, such as those between senita cacti, yuccas, and their respective obligate pollinators, benefit both species involved in the interaction. However, in these pollination mutualisms the pollinator's larvae impose a cost on plants through consumption of developing seeds and fruit. The effects of pollinators on benefits and costs are expected to vary with the abundance of pollinators, because large population sizes result in more eggs and larval seed-eaters. Here, we develop the hypothesis that fruit abortion, which is common in yucca, senita, and plants in general, could in some cases have the function of limiting pollinator abundance and, thereby, increasing fruit production. Using a general steady-state model of fruit production and pollinator dynamics, we demonstrate that plants involved in pollinating seed-eater mutualisms can increase their fecundity by randomly aborting fruit. We show that the ecological conditions under which fruit abortion can improve plants fecundity are not unusual. They are best met when the plant is long-lived, the population dynamics of the pollinator are much faster than those of the plant, the loss of one fruit via abortion kills a larva that would have the expectation of destroying more than one fruit through its future egg laying as an adult moth, and the effects of fruit abortion on pollinator abundance are spatially localized. We then use the approach of adaptive dynamics to find conditions under which a fruit abortion strategy based on regulating the pollinator population could feasibly evolve in this type of plant–pollinator interaction.

  20. Functionality of Varroa-resistant honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) when used for western U.S. honey production and almond pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinderer, Tihomas E; Danka, Robert G; Johnson, Stephanie; Bourgeois, A Lelania; Frake, Amanda M; Villa, José D; De Guzman, Lilia I; Harris, Jeffrey W

    2014-04-01

    Two types of honey bees, Apis mellifera L., bred for resistance to Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman, were evaluated for performance when used for honey production in Montana, and for almond pollination the following winter. Colonies of Russian honey bees and outcrossed honey bees with Varroa-sensitive hygiene (VSH) were compared with control colonies of Italian honey bees. All colonies were managed without miticide treatments. In total, 185 and 175 colonies were established for trials in 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, respectively. Survival of colonies with original queens or with supersedure queens was similar among stocks for both years. Colony sizes of the Varroa-resistant stocks were as large as or larger than the control colonies during periods critical to honey production and almond pollination. Honey production varied among stocks. In the first year, all stocks produced similar amounts of honey. In the second year, Russian honey bees colonies produced less honey than the control colonies. V. destructor infestations also varied among stocks. In the first year, control colonies had more infesting mites than either of the Varroa-resistant stocks, especially later in the year. In the second year, the control and outcrossed Varroa-sensitive hygiene colonies had high and damaging levels of infestation while the Russian honey bees colonies maintained lower levels of infestation. Infestations of Acarapis woodi (Rennie) were generally infrequent and low. All the stocks had similarly high Nosema ceranae infections in the spring and following winter of both years. Overall, the two Varroa-resistant stocks functioned adequately in this model beekeeping system. PMID:24772530

  1. Imidacloprid alters foraging and decreases bee avoidance of predators

    OpenAIRE

    Ken Tan; Weiwen Chen; Shihao Dong; Xiwen Liu; Yuchong Wang; Nieh, James C.

    2014-01-01

    Concern is growing over the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides, which can impair honey bee cognition. We provide the first demonstration that sublethal concentrations of imidacloprid can harm honey bee decision-making about danger by significantly increasing the probability of a bee visiting a dangerous food source. Apis cerana is a native bee that is an important pollinator of agricultural crops and native plants in Asia. When foraging on nectar containing 40 μg/L (34 ppb) imidacloprid, hon...

  2. The Dynamics of Pollination Markets

    OpenAIRE

    Champetier, Antoine

    2010-01-01

    The economic problem of a commercial beekeeper is akin to that of a traveling salesman with the important difference that bees simultaneously pollinate crops and feed on them. In other words, bees not only provide pollination services but also feed on the crops they visit. As a result, the number and price of bees available for pollination at any time for any crop is determined by the demand for pollination services and the supply of bee food from other crops in the market. I develop a dynami...

  3. Multilevel spatial structure impacts on the pollination services of Comarum palustre (Rosaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somme, Laurent; Mayer, Carolin; Jacquemart, Anne-Laure

    2014-01-01

    Habitat destruction and fragmentation accelerate pollinator decline, consequently disrupting ecosystem processes such as pollination. To date, the impacts of multilevel spatial structure on pollination services have rarely been addressed. We focused on the effects of population spatial structure on the pollination services of Comarum palustre at three levels (i.e. within-population, between-populations and landscape). For three years, we investigated 14 Belgian populations, which differed in their within-population flower density, population surface, closure (i.e. proportion of the population edge that consisted of woody elements) and isolation (i.e. percentage of woody area cover within a 500 m radius from the population centre). We tested whether these spatial characteristics impact on pollinator abundance and visitation rate and thus, reproductive success of C. palustre. Insects were observed in 15 randomly-chosen plots in each population. We tested for pollen limitation with supplemental hand-cross pollination. Bumble bees and solitary bees were the major pollinators through all populations. Within populations, plots with high flower densities attracted high numbers of bumble bees and other insects. High bumble bee and solitary bee abundance was observed in populations presenting high proportions of woody edges and in populations within landscapes presenting high proportions of woody areas. Seed set resulting from open pollination varied with bumble bee and solitary bee visitation rate, leading to increased pollen limitation when pollinators were scarce. Since the reproductive success depended on the visitation rate of the main pollinators, which depended on multilevel spatial structure, wetland management plans should pay special attention to favour a mosaic of biotopes, including nesting sites and food resources for insects. This study particularly supports the relevance of a mix wetlands and woody habitats to bees. PMID:24915450

  4. Multilevel spatial structure impacts on the pollination services of Comarum palustre (Rosaceae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurent Somme

    Full Text Available Habitat destruction and fragmentation accelerate pollinator decline, consequently disrupting ecosystem processes such as pollination. To date, the impacts of multilevel spatial structure on pollination services have rarely been addressed. We focused on the effects of population spatial structure on the pollination services of Comarum palustre at three levels (i.e. within-population, between-populations and landscape. For three years, we investigated 14 Belgian populations, which differed in their within-population flower density, population surface, closure (i.e. proportion of the population edge that consisted of woody elements and isolation (i.e. percentage of woody area cover within a 500 m radius from the population centre. We tested whether these spatial characteristics impact on pollinator abundance and visitation rate and thus, reproductive success of C. palustre. Insects were observed in 15 randomly-chosen plots in each population. We tested for pollen limitation with supplemental hand-cross pollination. Bumble bees and solitary bees were the major pollinators through all populations. Within populations, plots with high flower densities attracted high numbers of bumble bees and other insects. High bumble bee and solitary bee abundance was observed in populations presenting high proportions of woody edges and in populations within landscapes presenting high proportions of woody areas. Seed set resulting from open pollination varied with bumble bee and solitary bee visitation rate, leading to increased pollen limitation when pollinators were scarce. Since the reproductive success depended on the visitation rate of the main pollinators, which depended on multilevel spatial structure, wetland management plans should pay special attention to favour a mosaic of biotopes, including nesting sites and food resources for insects. This study particularly supports the relevance of a mix wetlands and woody habitats to bees.

  5. When bigger is not better: intraspecific competition for pollination increases with population size in invasive milkweeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Megan; Johnson, Steven D; Zalucki, Myron P

    2013-04-01

    One of the essential requirements for an introduced plant species to become invasive is an ability to reproduce outside the native range, particularly when initial populations are small. If a reproductive Allee effect is operating, plants in small populations will have reduced reproductive success relative to plants in larger populations. Alternatively, if plants in small populations experience less competition for pollination than those in large populations, they may actually have higher levels of reproductive success than plants in large populations. To resolve this uncertainty, we investigated how the per capita fecundity of plants was affected by population size in three invasive milkweed species. Field surveys of seed production in natural populations of different sizes but similar densities were conducted for three pollinator-dependent invasive species, namely Asclepias curassavica, Gomphocarpus fruticosus and G. physocarpus. Additionally, supplemental hand-pollinations were performed in small and large populations in order to determine whether reproductive output was limited by pollinator activity in these populations. Reproductive Allee effects were not detected in any of the study species. Instead, plants in small populations exhibited remarkably high levels of reproductive output compared to those in large populations. Increased fruit production following supplemental hand-pollinations suggested that the lower reproductive output of naturally pollinated plants in large populations is a consequence of pollen limitation rather than limitation due to abiotic resources. This is consistent with increased intraspecific competition for pollination amongst plants in large populations. It is likely that the invasion of these milkweed species in Australia has been enhanced because plants in small founding populations experience less intraspecific competition for pollinators than those in large populations, and thus have the ability to produce copious amounts of

  6. Do native bees have the potential to promote interspecific pollination in introduced Impatiens species?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael B. Jones

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Artificial introductions of non-native species by humans can remove geographical barriers between species. In the absence of reproductive barriers, closely related introduced taxa may be able to hybridize, resulting in the formation of novel genotypes. These may be more suited to the new environment than either of their parent taxa, and have the potential to become more invasive. We investigated potential reproductive barriers between the non-native invasive Impatiens glandulifera and its less aggressive non-native congener I. balfourii. We examined behaviour of pollinators, including their foraging preferences and whether they switched from one species to the other. Moreover, conspecific and interspecific artificial crosses were performed between these species and seed production and the germination success of hybrid seeds were assessed.Both I. balfourii and I. glandulifera had relatively long flowering periods which mostly overlapped. Insect visitors were observed to switch from flowers of one species to the other during a single foraging bout, confirming that natural pollen transfer between species is possible. Artificial interspecific pollination resulted in the production of seeds, suggesting the presence of incomplete reproductive barriers between the two species. However, hybrid seeds mostly failed to germinate making the production of invasive hybrids unlikely. Nevertheless, because of the prolific reproductive output of these species we would not exclude the possibility that some viable hybrid seeds could be formed and become established. Further investigation of the fitness of hybrid seeds is required as hybridisation may allow Impatiens to exploit different ecological niches.

  7. Microbial ecology of the hive and pollination landscape: bacterial associates from floral nectar, the alimentary tract and stored food of honey bees (Apis mellifera.

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    Kirk E Anderson

    Full Text Available Nearly all eukaryotes are host to beneficial or benign bacteria in their gut lumen, either vertically inherited, or acquired from the environment. While bacteria core to the honey bee gut are becoming evident, the influence of the hive and pollination environment on honey bee microbial health is largely unexplored. Here we compare bacteria from floral nectar in the immediate pollination environment, different segments of the honey bee (Apis mellifera alimentary tract, and food stored in the hive (honey and packed pollen or "beebread". We used cultivation and sequencing to explore bacterial communities in all sample types, coupled with culture-independent analysis of beebread. We compare our results from the alimentary tract with both culture-dependent and culture-independent analyses from previous studies. Culturing the foregut (crop, midgut and hindgut with standard media produced many identical or highly similar 16S rDNA sequences found with 16S rDNA clone libraries and next generation sequencing of 16S rDNA amplicons. Despite extensive culturing with identical media, our results do not support the core crop bacterial community hypothesized by recent studies. We cultured a wide variety of bacterial strains from 6 of 7 phylogenetic groups considered core to the honey bee hindgut. Our results reveal that many bacteria prevalent in beebread and the crop are also found in floral nectar, suggesting frequent horizontal transmission. From beebread we uncovered a variety of bacterial phylotypes, including many possible pathogens and food spoilage organisms, and potentially beneficial bacteria including Lactobacillus kunkeei, Acetobacteraceae and many different groups of Actinobacteria. Contributions of these bacteria to colony health may include general hygiene, fungal and pathogen inhibition and beebread preservation. Our results are important for understanding the contribution to pollinator health of both environmentally vectored and core microbiota

  8. Floral neighborhood influences pollinator assemblages and effective pollination in a native plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruckman, Daniela; Campbell, Diane R

    2014-10-01

    Pollinators represent an important intermediary by which different plant species can influence each other's reproductive fitness. Floral neighbors can modify the quantity of pollinator visits to a focal species but may also influence the composition of visitor assemblages that plants receive leading to potential changes in the average effectiveness of floral visits. We explored how the heterospecific floral neighborhood (abundance of native and non-native heterospecific plants within 2 m × 2 m) affects pollinator visitation and composition of pollinator assemblages for a native plant, Phacelia parryi. The relative effectiveness of different insect visitors was also assessed to interpret the potential effects on plant fitness of shifts in pollinator assemblage composition. Although the common non-native Brassica nigra did not have a significant effect on overall pollinator visitation rate to P. parryi, the proportion of flower visits that were made by native pollinators increased with increasing abundance of heterospecific plant species in the floral neighborhood other than B. nigra. Furthermore, native pollinators deposited twice as many P. parryi pollen grains per visit as did the nonnative Apis mellifera, and visits by native bees also resulted in more seeds than visits by A. mellifera. These results indicate that the floral neighborhood can influence the composition of pollinator assemblages that visit a native plant and that changes in local flower communities have the potential to affect plant reproductive success through shifts in these assemblages towards less effective pollinators. PMID:25047026

  9. Insect pollinated crops, insect pollinators and US agriculture: trend analysis of aggregate data for the period 1992-2009.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas W Calderone

    Full Text Available In the US, the cultivated area (hectares and production (tonnes of crops that require or benefit from insect pollination (directly dependent crops: apples, almonds, blueberries, cucurbits, etc. increased from 1992, the first year in this study, through 1999 and continued near those levels through 2009; aggregate yield (tonnes/hectare remained unchanged. The value of directly dependent crops attributed to all insect pollination (2009 USD decreased from $14.29 billion in 1996, the first year for value data in this study, to $10.69 billion in 2001, but increased thereafter, reaching $15.12 billion by 2009. The values attributed to honey bees and non-Apis pollinators followed similar patterns, reaching $11.68 billion and $3.44 billion, respectively, by 2009. The cultivated area of crops grown from seeds resulting from insect pollination (indirectly dependent crops: legume hays, carrots, onions, etc. was stable from 1992 through 1999, but has since declined. Production of those crops also declined, albeit not as rapidly as the decline in cultivated area; this asymmetry was due to increases in aggregate yield. The value of indirectly dependent crops attributed to insect pollination declined from $15.45 billion in 1996 to $12.00 billion in 2004, but has since trended upward. The value of indirectly dependent crops attributed to honey bees and non-Apis pollinators, exclusive of alfalfa leafcutter bees, has declined since 1996 to $5.39 billion and $1.15 billion, respectively in 2009. The value of alfalfa hay attributed to alfalfa leafcutter bees ranged between $4.99 and $7.04 billion. Trend analysis demonstrates that US producers have a continued and significant need for insect pollinators and that a diminution in managed or wild pollinator populations could seriously threaten the continued production of insect pollinated crops and crops grown from seeds resulting from insect pollination.

  10. Honey bee attractants and pollination in sweet orange, Citrus sinensis (L. Osbeck, var. Pera-Rio

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. T. Malerbo-Souza

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available This experiment studied the frequency and behavior of insects on sweet orange flowers, Citrus sinensis (L. Osbeck, their effect on fruit production (quantity and quality, nectar and pollen collection, and the effectiveness of different attractants. Over three consecutive years, the most frequent visitor to the flowers was Apis mellifera (Africanized. Flowers visited less than ten times showed low fructification. Fruit production was 35.30% greater in uncovered flowers. Fruit mean weight was much greater in uncovered (180.2g than in covered flowers (168.5g. Fruits from the covered were more acid (1.411g of citric acid/100ml of juice than the uncovered flowers (1.164g of citric acid/100ml of juice. The number of seeds per bud was higher in the uncovered (1 seed/bud than in the covered treatment (0.8 seed/bud. Bee-HereR, eugenol, geraniol, citral, and lemon grass extract, mainly diluted in water, were effective in attracting honeybees to orchards. However, these compounds were less effective when diluted in sugar syrup. The same products had variable attractiveness to honeybees in different years.

  11. Wild bees and agroecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Morandin, Lora

    2005-01-01

    Research in agriculture often focuses on development of new technologies rather than on potential environmental impacts. Pollinators, primarily bees, are essential to agriculture, providing significant yield benefit in over 66% of crop species. Currently, dramatic losses of managed honey bee pollinators in North America along with suspected world-wide losses of wild pollinators are focusing research attention on an impending but still poorly documented pollination crisis. Essential questions ...

  12. Complementary ecosystem services provided by pest predators and pollinators increase quantity and quality of coffee yields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Classen, Alice; Peters, Marcell K; Ferger, Stefan W; Helbig-Bonitz, Maria; Schmack, Julia M; Maassen, Genevieve; Schleuning, Matthias; Kalko, Elisabeth K V; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2014-03-22

    Wild animals substantially support crop production by providing ecosystem services, such as pollination and natural pest control. However, the strengths of synergies between ecosystem services and their dependencies on land-use management are largely unknown. Here, we took an experimental approach to test the impact of land-use intensification on both individual and combined pollination and pest control services in coffee production systems at Mount Kilimanjaro. We established a full-factorial pollinator and vertebrate exclosure experiment along a land-use gradient from traditional homegardens (agroforestry systems), shaded coffee plantations to sun coffee plantations (total sample size = 180 coffee bushes). The exclusion of vertebrates led to a reduction in fruit set of ca 9%. Pollinators did not affect fruit set, but significantly increased fruit weight of coffee by an average of 7.4%. We found no significant decline of these ecosystem services along the land-use gradient. Pest control and pollination service were thus complementary, contributing to coffee production by affecting the quantity and quality of a major tropical cash crop across different coffee production systems at Mount Kilimanjaro. PMID:24500173

  13. Hedgerows Have a Barrier Effect and Channel Pollinator Movement in the Agricultural Landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klaus Felix

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural intensification and the subsequent fragmentation of semi-natural habitats severely restrict pollinator and pollen movement threatening both pollinator and plant species. Linear landscape elements such as hedgerows are planted for agricultural and conservation purposes to increase the resource availability and habitat connectivity supporting populations of beneficial organisms such as pollinators. However, hedgerows may have unexpected effects on plant and pollinator persistence by not just channeling pollinators and pollen along, but also restricting movement across the strip of habitat. Here, we tested how hedgerows influence pollinator movement and pollen flow. We used fluorescent dye particles as pollen analogues to track pollinator movement between potted cornflowers Centaurea cyanus along and across a hedgerow separating two meadows. The deposition of fluorescent dye was significantly higher along the hedgerow than across the hedgerow and into the meadow, despite comparable pollinator abundances. The differences in pollen transfer suggest that hedgerows can affect pollinator and pollen dispersal by channeling their movement and acting as a permeable barrier. We conclude that hedgerows in agricultural landscapes can increase the connectivity between otherwise isolated plant and pollinator populations (corridor function, but can have additional, and so far unknown barrier effects on pollination services. Functioning as a barrier, linear landscape elements can impede pollinator movement and dispersal, even for highly mobile species such as bees. These results should be considered in future management plans aiming to enhance the persistence of threatened pollinator and plant populations by restoring functional connectivity and to ensure sufficient crop pollination in the agricultural landscape.

  14. Ecology and management of crop pollination and pest control

    OpenAIRE

    Lundin, Ola

    2013-01-01

    The agricultural landscape has gone through large changes to meet increasing demands for food. This has led to major biodiversity declines, while effects on ecosystem services that support agricultural productivity, such as pollination and pest control, remain less studied. This thesis examines temporal trends, impacts, and management for functionally important insects in agriculture using red clover seed production as a model system. Red clover is pollinated by bumble bees (Bombus spp.) and ...

  15. Generalist Bee Species on Brazilian Bee-Plant Interaction Networks

    OpenAIRE

    Astrid de Matos Peixoto Kleinert; Tereza Cristina Giannini

    2012-01-01

    Determining bee and plant interactions has an important role on understanding general biology of bee species as well as the potential pollinating relationship between them. Bee surveys have been conducted in Brazil since the end of the 1960s. Most of them applied standardized methods and had identified the plant species where the bees were collected. To analyze the most generalist bees on Brazilian surveys, we built a matrix of bee-plant interactions. We estimated the most generalist bees det...

  16. Negative effects of pesticides on wild bee communities can be buffered by landscape context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Mia G.; Blitzer, E. J.; Gibbs, Jason; Losey, John E.; Danforth, Bryan N.

    2015-01-01

    Wild bee communities provide underappreciated but critical agricultural pollination services. Given predicted global shortages in pollination services, managing agroecosystems to support thriving wild bee communities is, therefore, central to ensuring sustainable food production. Benefits of natural (including semi-natural) habitat for wild bee abundance and diversity on farms are well documented. By contrast, few studies have examined toxicity of pesticides on wild bees, let alone effects of farm-level pesticide exposure on entire bee communities. Whether beneficial natural areas could mediate effects of harmful pesticides on wild bees is also unknown. Here, we assess the effect of conventional pesticide use on the wild bee community visiting apple (Malus domestica) within a gradient of percentage natural area in the landscape. Wild bee community abundance and species richness decreased linearly with increasing pesticide use in orchards one year after application; however, pesticide effects on wild bees were buffered by increasing proportion of natural habitat in the surrounding landscape. A significant contribution of fungicides to observed pesticide effects suggests deleterious properties of a class of pesticides that was, until recently, considered benign to bees. Our results demonstrate extended benefits of natural areas for wild pollinators and highlight the importance of considering the landscape context when weighing up the costs of pest management on crop pollination services. PMID:26041355

  17. Human-Induced Disturbance Alters Pollinator Communities in Tropical Mountain Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Schleuning

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Mountain forest ecosystems in the Andes are threatened by deforestation. Increasing fire frequencies lead to fire-degraded habitats that are often characterized by a persistent fern-dominated vegetation. Little is known about the consequences of these drastic changes in habitat conditions for pollinator communities. In a rapid diversity assessment, we collected individuals of two major groups of insect pollinators (bees and butterflies/moths with pan traps and compared pollinator diversities in a spatial block design between forest interior, forest edge and adjacent fire-degraded habitats at eight sites in the Bolivian Andes. We found that bee species richness and abundance were significantly higher in fire-degraded habitats than in forest habitats, whereas species richness and abundance of butterflies/moths increased towards the forests interior. Species turnover between forest and fire-degraded habitats was very high for both pollinator groups and was reflected by an increase in the body size of bee species and a decrease in the body size of butterfly/moth species in fire-degraded habitats. We conclude that deforestation by frequent fires has profound impacts on the diversity and composition of pollinator communities. Our tentative findings suggest shifts towards bee-dominated pollinator communities in fire-degraded habitats that may have important feedbacks on the regenerating communities of insect-pollinated plant species.

  18. Social and Ecological Drivers of the Economic Value of Pollination Services Delivered to Coffee in Central Uganda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bin Mushambanyi Théodore Munyuli

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available On-farm pollination experiments were conducted in 30 different small-scale coffee fields to determine monetary value attributable to pollination services in coffee production and to identify the degree of influences of various socio-ecological drivers in Uganda. Ecological-economic approaches were applied to determine the economic value of pollinating services. Economic value of bees increased significantly with increase in coffee farm size, bee diversity, and cover of seminatural habitats. The value of bees declined sharply (P<0.05 with forest distance and cultivation intensity. Economic values of pollinating services associated with coffee fields established in regions with low intensity were found to be high. Organically managed small-scale coffee fields were 2 times more profitable than commercially managed farms. The annual value of pollinating services delivered by wild bees oscillated between US$67.18 and US$1431.36. Central Uganda produces in total 0.401 million tons of coffee beans for an approximate economic value of US$214 million from which US$149.42 million are attributable to pollination services. Policy makers should strengthen environmental/agricultural extension service systems to better serve farmers. Farmers are recommended to protect/increase the cover of natural and semi-natural habitats in the vicinity of their coffee fields to receive high economic benefits from pollinating services delivered by bees.

  19. Intracolonial genetic diversity in honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies increases pollen foraging efficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Multiple mating by honey bee queens results in colonies of genotypically diverse workers. Recent studies have demonstrated that increased genetic diversity within a honey bee colony increases the variation in the frequency of tasks performed by workers. We show that genotypically diverse colonies, ...

  20. Synergistic interactions of ecosystem services: florivorous pest control boosts crop yield increase through insect pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, Louis; Albrecht, Matthias

    2016-02-10

    Insect pollination and pest control are pivotal functions sustaining global food production. However, they have mostly been studied in isolation and how they interactively shape crop yield remains largely unexplored. Using controlled field experiments, we found strong synergistic effects of insect pollination and simulated pest control on yield quantity and quality. Their joint effect increased yield by 23%, with synergistic effects contributing 10%, while their single contributions were 7% and 6%, respectively. The potential economic benefit for a farmer from the synergistic effects (12%) was 1.8 times greater than their individual contributions (7% each). We show that the principal underlying mechanism was a pronounced pest-induced reduction in flower lifetime, resulting in a strong reduction in the number of pollinator visits a flower receives during its lifetime. Our findings highlight the importance of non-additive interactions among ecosystem services (ES) when valuating, mapping or predicting them and reveal fundamental implications for ecosystem management and policy aimed at maximizing ES for sustainable agriculture. PMID:26865304

  1. Pollinator preference and the evolution of floral traits in monkeyflowers (Mimulus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schemske, D W; Bradshaw, H D

    1999-10-12

    A paradigm of evolutionary biology is that adaptation and reproductive isolation are caused by a nearly infinite number of mutations of individually small effect. Here, we test this hypothesis by investigating the genetic basis of pollinator discrimination in two closely related species of monkeyflowers that differ in their major pollinators. This system provides a unique opportunity to investigate the genetic architecture of adaptation and speciation because floral traits that confer pollinator specificity also contribute to premating reproductive isolation. We asked: (i) What floral traits cause pollinator discrimination among plant species? and (ii) What is the genetic basis of these traits? We examined these questions by using data obtained from a large-scale field experiment where genetic markers were employed to determine the genetic basis of pollinator visitation. Observations of F2 hybrids produced by crossing bee-pollinated Mimulus lewisii with hummingbird-pollinated Mimulus cardinalis revealed that bees preferred large flowers low in anthocyanin and carotenoid pigments, whereas hummingbirds favored nectar-rich flowers high in anthocyanins. An allele that increases petal carotenoid concentration reduced bee visitation by 80%, whereas an allele that increases nectar production doubled hummingbird visitation. These results suggest that genes of large effect on pollinator preference have contributed to floral evolution and premating reproductive isolation in these monkeyflowers. This work contributes to growing evidence that adaptation and reproductive isolation may often involve major genes. PMID:10518550

  2. Potential disruption of pollination in a sexually deceptive orchid by climatic change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbirt, Karen M; Roberts, David L; Hutchings, Michael J; Davy, Anthony J

    2014-12-01

    Warmer springs advance many phenological events, including flowering time in plants and the flight time of insects. Pollination by insects, an ecosystem service of immense economic and conservation importance, depends on synchrony between insect activity and flowering time. If plants and their pollinators show different phenological responses to climate warming, pollination could fail. Information about the effects of warming on specific plant-insect mutualisms is difficult to obtain from complex pollination networks. In contrast, the extraordinarily specific deceptions evolved by orchids that attract a very narrow range of pollinators allow direct examination of the potential for climatic warming to disrupt synchrony. Here we show that a sexually deceptive orchid and the solitary bee on which it depends for pollination will diverge in phenology with increasing spring temperature. Male bees inadvertently pollinate the orchid flowers during pseudocopulation. Analysis of museum specimens (1893-2007) and recent field-based records (1975-2009) showed that flight date of the solitary bee Andrena nigroaenea is advanced more by higher temperatures than is flowering date in the deceptive orchid Ophrys sphegodes. Male bees emerged slightly earlier than females, which attract male copulatory attentions away from the deceptive flowers. Warming by as little as 2°C increased both the probability of male flight and the proportion of females flying in the bee population before orchid flowering; this would reduce the frequency of pseudocopulation and thus lower pollination success rate in the orchid. Our results demonstrate a significant potential for coevolved plant-pollinator relationships to be disrupted by climatic warming. PMID:25454786

  3. Milkweed (Gentianales: Apocynaceae): a farmscape resource for increasing parasitism of stink bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) and providing nectar to insect pollinators and monarch butterflies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tillman, P G; Carpenter, J E

    2014-04-01

    In peanut-cotton farmscapes in Georgia, the stink bugs Nezara viridula (L.) and Chinavia hilaris (Say) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) and the leaffooted bug, Leptoglossus phyllopus (L.) (Hemiptera: Coreidae), disperse at crop-to-crop interfaces to feed on bolls in cotton. The main objective of this study was to determine whether insecticide-free tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica L.), a nectar-producing plant, can increase parasitism of these bugs by Trichopoda pennipes (F.) (Diptera: Tachinidae) and provide nectar to monarch butterflies and insect pollinators in these farmscapes. Peanut-cotton plots with and without flowering milkweed plants were established in 2009 and 2010. Adult T. pennipes, monarch butterflies, honey bees, and native insect pollinators readily fed on floral nectar of milkweed. Monarch larvae feeding on milkweed vegetation successfully developed into pupae. In 2009, N. viridula was the primary host of T. pennipes in cotton, and parasitism of this pest by the parasitoid was significantly higher in milkweed cotton (61.6%) than in control cotton (13.3%). In 2010, parasitism of N. viridula, C. hilaris, and L. phyllopus by T. pennipes was significantly higher in milkweed cotton (24.0%) than in control cotton (1.1%). For both years of the study, these treatment differences were not owing to a response by the parasitoid to differences in host density, because density of hosts was not significantly different between treatments. In conclusion, incorporation of milkweed in peanut-cotton plots increased stink bug parasitism in cotton and provided nectar to insect pollinators and monarch butterflies. PMID:24763094

  4. Effect of pollinator abundance on self-fertilization and gene flow: application to GM Canola.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoyle, Martin; Hayter, Katrina; Cresswell, James E

    2007-10-01

    Cross-pollination from fields of transgenic crops is of great public concern. Although cross-pollination in commercial canola (Brassica napus) fields has been empirically measured, field trials are expensive and do not identify the causes of cross-pollination. Therefore, theoretical models can be valuable because they can provide estimates of cross-pollination at any given site and time. We present a general analytical model of field-to-field gene flow due to the following competing mechanisms: the wind, bees, and autonomous pollination. We parameterize the model for the particular case of field-to-field cross-pollination of genetically modified (GM) canola via the wind and via bumble bees (Bombus spp.) and honey bees (Apis mellifera). We make extensive use of the large data set of bee densities collected during the recent U.K. Farm Scale Evaluations. We predict that canola approaches almost full seed set without pollinators and that autonomous pollination is responsible for > or = 25% of seed set, irrespective of pollinator abundance. We do not predict the relative contribution of bees vs. the wind in landscape-scale gene flow in canola. However, under model assumptions, we predict that the maximum field-to-field gene flow due to bumble bees is 0.04% and 0.13% below the current EU limit for adventitious GM presence for winter- and spring-sown canola, respectively. We predict that gene flow due to bees is approximately 3.1 times higher at 20% compared to 100% male-fertility, and due to the wind, 1.3 times higher at 20% compared to 100% male-fertility, for both winter- and spring-sown canola. Bumble bee-mediated gene flow is approximately 2.7 times higher and wind-mediated gene flow approximately 1.7 times lower in spring-sown than in winter-sown canola, regardless of the degree of male-sterility. The model of cross-pollination due to the wind most closely predicted three previously published observations: field-to-field gene flow is low; gene flow increases with

  5. Modeling pollinator community response to contrasting bioenergy scenarios.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashley B Bennett

    Full Text Available In the United States, policy initiatives aimed at increasing sources of renewable energy are advancing bioenergy production, especially in the Midwest region, where agricultural landscapes dominate. While policy directives are focused on renewable fuel production, biodiversity and ecosystem services will be impacted by the land-use changes required to meet production targets. Using data from field observations, we developed empirical models for predicting abundance, diversity, and community composition of flower-visiting bees based on land cover. We used these models to explore how bees might respond under two contrasting bioenergy scenarios: annual bioenergy crop production and perennial grassland bioenergy production. In the two scenarios, 600,000 ha of marginal annual crop land or marginal grassland were converted to perennial grassland or annual row crop bioenergy production, respectively. Model projections indicate that expansion of annual bioenergy crop production at this scale will reduce bee abundance by 0 to 71%, and bee diversity by 0 to 28%, depending on location. In contrast, converting annual crops on marginal soil to perennial grasslands could increase bee abundance from 0 to 600% and increase bee diversity between 0 and 53%. Our analysis of bee community composition suggested a similar pattern, with bee communities becoming less diverse under annual bioenergy crop production, whereas bee composition transitioned towards a more diverse community dominated by wild bees under perennial bioenergy crop production. Models, like those employed here, suggest that bioenergy policies have important consequences for pollinator conservation.

  6. Modeling pollinator community response to contrasting bioenergy scenarios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Ashley B; Meehan, Timothy D; Gratton, Claudio; Isaacs, Rufus

    2014-01-01

    In the United States, policy initiatives aimed at increasing sources of renewable energy are advancing bioenergy production, especially in the Midwest region, where agricultural landscapes dominate. While policy directives are focused on renewable fuel production, biodiversity and ecosystem services will be impacted by the land-use changes required to meet production targets. Using data from field observations, we developed empirical models for predicting abundance, diversity, and community composition of flower-visiting bees based on land cover. We used these models to explore how bees might respond under two contrasting bioenergy scenarios: annual bioenergy crop production and perennial grassland bioenergy production. In the two scenarios, 600,000 ha of marginal annual crop land or marginal grassland were converted to perennial grassland or annual row crop bioenergy production, respectively. Model projections indicate that expansion of annual bioenergy crop production at this scale will reduce bee abundance by 0 to 71%, and bee diversity by 0 to 28%, depending on location. In contrast, converting annual crops on marginal soil to perennial grasslands could increase bee abundance from 0 to 600% and increase bee diversity between 0 and 53%. Our analysis of bee community composition suggested a similar pattern, with bee communities becoming less diverse under annual bioenergy crop production, whereas bee composition transitioned towards a more diverse community dominated by wild bees under perennial bioenergy crop production. Models, like those employed here, suggest that bioenergy policies have important consequences for pollinator conservation. PMID:25365559

  7. Impact of bee pollinators on seed set and yield of Vicia villosa spp. dasycarpa (Leguminosae) grown under semiarid conditions

    OpenAIRE

    Shahera Zaitoun; Ahmad Alqudah; Nezar Samarah; Abd Al-Majeed Al-Ghzawi

    2010-01-01

    A field experiment was conducted during 2005/2006 at Jordan University of Science and Technology campus (32°30” N, 35°59” E), Irbid, Jordan, to study the role of bee visitors on seed set and production of Vicia villosa spp. dasycarpa grown under semiarid conditions. Two treatments were imposed on Vicia villosa plants before flowering: 1) Plants were covered in cages (control) or 2) Plants were left uncovered to permit bee visiting. The results of this experiment showed tha...

  8. Effects of selenium accumulation on phytotoxicity, herbivory, and pollination ecology in radish (Raphanus sativus L.)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Selenium (Se) has contaminated areas in the western USA where pollination is critical to the functioning of both agricultural and natural ecosystems, yet we know little about how Se can impact pollinators. In a two-year semi-field study, the weedy plant Raphanus sativus (radish) was exposed to three selenate treatments and two pollination treatments to evaluate the effects on pollinator–plant interactions. Honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) pollinators were observed to readily forage on R. sativus for both pollen and nectar despite high floral Se concentrations. Se treatment increased both seed abortion (14%) and decreased plant biomass (8–9%). Herbivory by birds and aphids was reduced on Se-treated plants, indicating a potential reproductive advantage for the plant. Our study sheds light on how pollutants such as Se can impact the pollination ecology of a plant that accumulates even moderate amounts of Se. - Highlights: ► Radish were exposed to selenate and pollination treatments to examine pollination ecology. ► Honey bees foraged on radish for both pollen and nectar despite high floral Se concentrations. ► Se treatment increased seed abortion and decreased plant biomass. ► Herbivory by birds and aphids was reduced in Se-treated plants. ► Pollutants such as Se can impact the pollination of a plant that accumulates even moderate amounts. - Radish accumulated the pollutant selenium in floral tissues, but this did not deter the pollinator (Apis mellifera) from foraging.

  9. Genomic analyses of the microsporidian Nosema ceranae, an emergent pathogen of honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recent steep declines in honey bee health have severely impacted the beekeeping industry, presenting new risks for agricultural commodities that depend on insect pollination. Honey bee declines could reflect increased pressures from parasites and pathogens. The incidence of the microsporidian pathog...

  10. Drifting bumble bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) workers in commercial greenhouses may be social parasites

    OpenAIRE

    Birmingham, A.L.; Hoover, S.E.; Winston, M.L.; Ydenberg, R.C.

    2004-01-01

    Commercial greenhouses require high densities of managed bumble bee (Bombus occidentalis Greene, 1858 and Bombus impatiens Cresson, 1863) colonies to pollinate crops such as tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Miller). We examined drifting, a behavioural consequence of introducing closely aggregated colonies into greenhouse habitats, to determine possible explanations for observed drifting frequencies. Bee drift is normally associated with increased individual mortality and disease transfer bet...

  11. Nectar minerals as regulators of flower visitation in stingless bees and nectar hoarding wasps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afik, Ohad; Delaplane, Keith S; Shafir, Sharoni; Moo-Valle, Humberto; Quezada-Euán, J Javier G

    2014-05-01

    Various nectar components have a repellent effect on flower visitors, and their adaptive advantages for the plant are not well understood. Persea americana (avocado) is an example of a plant that secretes nectar with repellent components. It was demonstrated that the mineral constituents of this nectar, mainly potassium and phosphate, are concentrated enough to repel honey bees, Apis mellifera, a pollinator often used for commercial avocado pollination. Honey bees, however, are not the natural pollinator of P. americana, a plant native to Central America. In order to understand the role of nectar minerals in plant-pollinator relationships, it is important to focus on the plant's interactions with its natural pollinators. Two species of stingless bees and one species of social wasp, all native to the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, part of the natural range of P. americana, were tested for their sensitivity to sugar solutions enriched with potassium and phosphate, and compared with the sensitivity of honey bees. In choice tests between control and mineral-enriched solutions, all three native species were indifferent for mineral concentrations lower than those naturally occurring in P. americana nectar. Repellence was expressed at concentrations near or exceeding natural concentrations. The threshold point at which native pollinators showed repellence to increasing levels of minerals was higher than that detected for honey bees. The results do not support the hypothesis that high mineral content is attractive for native Hymenopteran pollinators; nevertheless, nectar mineral composition may still have a role in regulating flower visitors through different levels of repellency. PMID:24888745

  12. Screenhouse Evaluations of a Mason Bee Osmia ribifloris (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) as a Pollinator for Blueberries in the Southeastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osmia ribifloris Cresson is a solitary stem-nesting bee whose adult emergence perfectly coincided with the flowering periods of cultivated southern blueberries. An isolated case of extended prepupal dormancy occurred, but never reappeared in a captive population raised in Mississippi. Adults foraged...

  13. The relationship between managed bees and the prevalence of parasites in bumblebees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Graystock

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Honey bees and, more recently, bumblebees have been domesticated and are now managed commercially primarily for crop pollination, mixing with wild pollinators during foraging on shared flower resources. There is mounting evidence that managed honey bees or commercially produced bumblebees may affect the health of wild pollinators such as bumblebees by increasing competition for resources and the prevalence of parasites in wild bees. Here we screened 764 bumblebees from around five greenhouses that either used commercially produced bumblebees or did not, as well as bumblebees from 10 colonies placed at two sites either close to or far from a honey bee apiary, for the parasites Apicystis bombi, Crithidia bombi, Nosema bombi, N. ceranae, N. apis and deformed wing virus. We found that A. bombi and C. bombi were more prevalent around greenhouses using commercially produced bumblebees, while C. bombi was 18% more prevalent in bumblebees at the site near to the honey bee apiary than those at the site far from the apiary. Whilst these results are from only a limited number of sites, they support previous reports of parasite spillover from commercially produced bumblebees to wild bumblebees, and suggest that the impact of stress from competing with managed bees or the vectoring of parasites by them on parasite prevalence in wild bees needs further investigation. It appears increasingly likely that the use of managed bees comes at a cost of increased parasites in wild bumblebees, which is not only a concern for bumblebee conservation, but which may impact other pollinators as well.

  14. Nest Suitability, Fine-Scale Population Structure and Male-Mediated Dispersal of a Solitary Ground Nesting Bee in an Urban Landscape

    OpenAIRE

    López-Uribe, Margarita M.; Morreale, Stephen J.; Santiago, Christine K.; Danforth, bryan N.

    2015-01-01

    Bees are the primary pollinators of flowering plants in almost all ecosystems. Worldwide declines in bee populations have raised awareness about the importance of their ecological role in maintaining ecosystem functioning. The naturally strong philopatric behavior that some bee species show can be detrimental to population viability through increased probability of inbreeding. Furthermore, bee populations found in human-altered landscapes, such as urban areas, can experience lower levels of g...

  15. Annual dynamics of wild bee densities: attractiveness and productivity effects of oilseed rape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riedinger, Verena; Mitesser, Oliver; Hovestadt, Thomas; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Holzschuh, Andrea

    2015-05-01

    Mass-flowering crops may affect long-term population dynamics, but effects on pollinators have never been studied across several years. We monitored wild bees in oilseed rape fields in 16 landscapes in Germany in two consecutive years. Effects on bee densities of landscape oilseed rape cover in the years of monitoring and in the previous years were evaluated with landscape data from three consecutive years. We fit empirical data to a mechanistic model to provide estimates for oilseed rape attractiveness and its effect on bee productivity in comparison to the rest of the landscape, and we evaluated consequences for pollinator densities in consecutive years. Our results show that high oilseed rape cover in the previous year enhances current densities of wild bees (except for bumble bees). Moreover, we show a strong attractiveness of and dilution on (i.e., decreasing bee densities with increasing landscape oilseed rape cover) oilseed rape for bees during flowering in the current year, modifying the effect of the previous year's oilseed rape cover in the case of wild bees (excluding Bombus). As long as other factors such as nesting sites or natural enemies do not limit bee reproduction, our findings suggest long-term positive effects of mass-flowering crops on bee populations, at least for non-Bombus generalists, which possibly help to maintain crop pollination services even when crop area increases. Similar effects are conceivable for other organisms providing ecosystem services in annual crops and should be considered in future studies. PMID:26236848

  16. Impact of bee pollinators on seed set and yield of Vicia villosa spp. dasycarpa (Leguminosae grown under semiarid conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shahera Zaitoun

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available A field experiment was conducted during 2005/2006 at Jordan University of Science and Technology campus (32°30” N, 35°59” E, Irbid, Jordan, to study the role of bee visitors on seed set and production of Vicia villosa spp. dasycarpa grown under semiarid conditions. Two treatments were imposed on Vicia villosa plants before flowering: 1 Plants were covered in cages (control or 2 Plants were left uncovered to permit bee visiting. The results of this experiment showed that V. villosa flowers were very attractive to worker honeybees as well as to few numbers of wild bees. The most frequent visitor species were A. mellifera and Anthophora albigena of family Apidae. V. villosa flowers attracted most of the bee visitors in the early hours of the day. The duration of their visit on the flowers also peaked early in the day and decreased toward the end of the day. The percentage of pod set of the un-covered plants averaged 14% out of the total florets on the plants, which was significantly higher than the covered plants (2%. These results indicated that the percentage of flower abscission was high and averaged more than 86%. Plant covering significantly reduced seed yield by reducing seed and pod number per plant and seed number per pod, but had no effect on individual seed weight. In conclusion, preventing bees from visiting during flowering of V. villosa spp. dasycarpa decreased seed set, seed yield and yield components. Further studies are needed to understand the high flower abscission and failure of seed set in this species.

  17. Poor correlation between the removal or deposition of pollen grains and frequency of pollinator contact with sex organs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakamoto, Ryota L.; Morinaga, Shin-Ichi

    2013-09-01

    Pollinators deposit pollen grains on stigmas and remove pollen grains from anthers. The mechanics of these transfers can now be quantified with the use of high-speed video. We videoed hawkmoths, carpenter bees, and swallowtail butterflies pollinating Clerodendrum trichotomum. The number of grains deposited on stigmas did not vary significantly with the number of times pollinators contacted stigmas. In contrast, pollen removal from the anthers increased significantly with the number of contacts to anthers. Pollen removal varied among the three types of pollinators. Also, the three types carried pollen on different parts of their bodies. In hawkmoths and carpenter bees, a large number of contacted body part with anthers differed significantly from the body part that attached a large number of pollen grains. Our results indicate that a large number of contacts by pollinators does not increase either the male or female reproductive success of plants compared to a small number of contacts during a visit.

  18. Imidacloprid alters foraging and decreases bee avoidance of predators.

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    Ken Tan

    Full Text Available Concern is growing over the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides, which can impair honey bee cognition. We provide the first demonstration that sublethal concentrations of imidacloprid can harm honey bee decision-making about danger by significantly increasing the probability of a bee visiting a dangerous food source. Apis cerana is a native bee that is an important pollinator of agricultural crops and native plants in Asia. When foraging on nectar containing 40 µg/L (34 ppb imidacloprid, honey bees (Apis cerana showed no aversion to a feeder with a hornet predator, and 1.8 fold more bees chose the dangerous feeder as compared to control bees. Control bees exhibited significant predator avoidance. We also give the first evidence that foraging by A. cerana workers can be inhibited by sublethal concentrations of the pesticide, imidacloprid, which is widely used in Asia. Compared to bees collecting uncontaminated nectar, 23% fewer foragers returned to collect the nectar with 40 µg/L imidacloprid. Bees that did return respectively collected 46% and 63% less nectar containing 20 µg/L and 40 µg/L imidacloprid. These results suggest that the effects of neonicotinoids on honey bee decision-making and other advanced cognitive functions should be explored. Moreover, research should extend beyond the classic model, the European honey bee (A. mellifera, to other important bee species.

  19. Imidacloprid Alters Foraging and Decreases Bee Avoidance of Predators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Ken; Chen, Weiwen; Dong, Shihao; Liu, Xiwen; Wang, Yuchong; Nieh, James C.

    2014-01-01

    Concern is growing over the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides, which can impair honey bee cognition. We provide the first demonstration that sublethal concentrations of imidacloprid can harm honey bee decision-making about danger by significantly increasing the probability of a bee visiting a dangerous food source. Apis cerana is a native bee that is an important pollinator of agricultural crops and native plants in Asia. When foraging on nectar containing 40 µg/L (34 ppb) imidacloprid, honey bees (Apis cerana) showed no aversion to a feeder with a hornet predator, and 1.8 fold more bees chose the dangerous feeder as compared to control bees. Control bees exhibited significant predator avoidance. We also give the first evidence that foraging by A. cerana workers can be inhibited by sublethal concentrations of the pesticide, imidacloprid, which is widely used in Asia. Compared to bees collecting uncontaminated nectar, 23% fewer foragers returned to collect the nectar with 40 µg/L imidacloprid. Bees that did return respectively collected 46% and 63% less nectar containing 20 µg/L and 40 µg/L imidacloprid. These results suggest that the effects of neonicotinoids on honey bee decision-making and other advanced cognitive functions should be explored. Moreover, research should extend beyond the classic model, the European honey bee (A. mellifera), to other important bee species. PMID:25025334

  20. Pollinator interactions with yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis across urban, agricultural, and natural landscapes.

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    Misha Leong

    Full Text Available Pollinator-plant relationships are found to be particularly vulnerable to land use change. Yet despite extensive research in agricultural and natural systems, less attention has focused on these interactions in neighboring urban areas and its impact on pollination services. We investigated pollinator-plant interactions in a peri-urban landscape on the outskirts of the San Francisco Bay Area, California, where urban, agricultural, and natural land use types interface. We made standardized observations of floral visitation and measured seed set of yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis, a common grassland invasive, to test the hypotheses that increasing urbanization decreases 1 rates of bee visitation, 2 viable seed set, and 3 the efficiency of pollination (relationship between bee visitation and seed set. We unexpectedly found that bee visitation was highest in urban and agricultural land use contexts, but in contrast, seed set rates in these human-altered landscapes were lower than in natural sites. An explanation for the discrepancy between floral visitation and seed set is that higher plant diversity in urban and agricultural areas, as a result of more introduced species, decreases pollinator efficiency. If these patterns are consistent across other plant species, the novel plant communities created in these managed landscapes and the generalist bee species that are favored by human-altered environments will reduce pollination services.

  1. The phylogenetic structure of plant-pollinator networks increases with habitat size and isolation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aizen, Marcelo A; Gleiser, Gabriela; Sabatino, Malena; Gilarranz, Luis J; Bascompte, Jordi; Verdú, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Similarity among species in traits related to ecological interactions is frequently associated with common ancestry. Thus, closely related species usually interact with ecologically similar partners, which can be reinforced by diverse co-evolutionary processes. The effect of habitat fragmentation on the phylogenetic signal in interspecific interactions and correspondence between plant and animal phylogenies is, however, unknown. Here, we address to what extent phylogenetic signal and co-phylogenetic congruence of plant-animal interactions depend on habitat size and isolation by analysing the phylogenetic structure of 12 pollination webs from isolated Pampean hills. Phylogenetic signal in interspecific interactions differed among webs, being stronger for flower-visiting insects than plants. Phylogenetic signal and overall co-phylogenetic congruence increased independently with hill size and isolation. We propose that habitat fragmentation would erode the phylogenetic structure of interaction webs. A decrease in phylogenetic signal and co-phylogenetic correspondence in plant-pollinator interactions could be associated with less reliable mutualism and erratic co-evolutionary change. PMID:26493295

  2. Diversity and Effectiveness of Insect Pollinators of Jatropha curcas L. (Euphorbiaceae

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    PUJI RIANTI

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Seed of Jatropha curcas (Euphorbiaceae is currently established as the source for biofuel Therefore, it is important to understand the diversity insects that pollinated J. curcas inflorescence yellow flowers. We also aimed to study the pollination effects on fruit set on J. curcas. Scan sampling method were carried out to explore the insect pollinators diversity from 07.00 up to 17.00 h in every 15 minutes. Visiting frequency of pollinators insects were observed by using focal sampling. Those information together with flowering periods, flower nectar volumes, and environmental factors were used as the basic data to determine the effectiveness of insect pollination both in covered and uncovered of seed set plants. Results showed that nine species of insect pollinators were from three order (Hymenoptera, Lepidotera, and Diptera pollinated J. curcas. Four species of Hymenoptera i.e. Prenolepis, Apis dorsata, Xylocopa confusa, and Apis cerana showed the highest abundances. The highest abundance and species richness of pollinators occurred at 08.00-10.15 and 15.00-17.15 h. Bees of X. confusa, A. cerana, and A. dorsata of Apidae are effective as insect pollinators in J. curcas plantations, due to high visited frequencies. The insect pollinators also increased fruits and seeds set of J. curcas in the uncovered experiment plants. Thereby, enhancement the three pollinator insects as part of crop management have to be considered by farmers.

  3. Pervasiveness of parasites in pollinators.

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    Sophie E F Evison

    Full Text Available Many pollinator populations are declining, with large economic and ecological implications. Parasites are known to be an important factor in the some of the population declines of honey bees and bumblebees, but little is known about the parasites afflicting most other pollinators, or the extent of interspecific transmission or vectoring of parasites. Here we carry out a preliminary screening of pollinators (honey bees, five species of bumblebee, three species of wasp, four species of hoverfly and three genera of other bees in the UK for parasites. We used molecular methods to screen for six honey bee viruses, Ascosphaera fungi, Microsporidia, and Wolbachia intracellular bacteria. We aimed simply to detect the presence of the parasites, encompassing vectoring as well as actual infections. Many pollinators of all types were positive for Ascosphaera fungi, while Microsporidia were rarer, being most frequently found in bumblebees. We also detected that most pollinators were positive for Wolbachia, most probably indicating infection with this intracellular symbiont, and raising the possibility that it may be an important factor in influencing host sex ratios or fitness in a diversity of pollinators. Importantly, we found that about a third of bumblebees (Bombus pascuorum and Bombus terrestris and a third of wasps (Vespula vulgaris, as well as all honey bees, were positive for deformed wing virus, but that this virus was not present in other pollinators. Deformed wing virus therefore does not appear to be a general parasite of pollinators, but does interact significantly with at least three species of bumblebee and wasp. Further work is needed to establish the identity of some of the parasites, their spatiotemporal variation, and whether they are infecting the various pollinator species or being vectored. However, these results provide a first insight into the diversity, and potential exchange, of parasites in pollinator communities.

  4. Efeito da polinização por abelhas e outros insetos na produção de sementes de cebola Effect of pollination by bees and other insects on the production of onion seeds

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    Sidia Witter

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available A deficiência de polinização tem sido apontada como uma das causas da baixa produção de sementes na cultura da cebola. O objetivo deste trabalho foi avaliar a relação da presença de abelhas e outros insetos em flores de duas cultivares de cebola, Allium cepa L. (Alliaceae, com a produção de sementes. Foram registradas a diversidade e a freqüência de insetos nas flores de cebola e o efeito polinizador foi testado. O comportamento de Apis mellifera foi observado diretamente nas flores e a fidelidade verificada a partir do pólen nas corbículas. Representantes de Hymenoptera e Diptera foram os visitantes florais mais abundantes. Houve correlação entre a freqüência de A. mellifera com número de umbelas com flores, em ambas cultivares, e de outros insetos em Crioula Alto Vale. A produção de sementes com livre visitação de insetos apresentou acréscimo superior a 20% em relação às parcelas sem insetos e com visita de uma abelha. A. mellifera transportou mais de 70% de pólen de cebola. A presença de A. mellifera é indispensável para a produção comercial de sementes de cebola.Pollination's deficit has been pointed as one of the causes of the low onion seed production. The objective of this work was to evaluate the relationship of the presence of bees and other insects in flowers of two cultivars of onion, Allium cepa L. (Alliaceae, with seed production. The diversity and frequency of insects in flowers of onion was registered and their pollinizing effect was tested. The behavior of Apis mellifera was directly observed in the flowers and the fidelity was testified from the presence of pollen in the corbiculas. Representatives of Hymenoptera and Diptera were the most abundant flower visitors. There was a correlation between frequency of A. mellifera and the number of umbels with flowers in both cultivars and of other insects in Crioula Alto Vale. The production of seeds with free insect visitation had an increase of more

  5. INCREASING OF THE DEGREE OF BEE COLONIES DEVELOPMENT BY THE APPLICATION OF ELECTRICAL TECHNOLOGIES

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    Osykin S. V.

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The equation describing the whole combination of actions with bees in hives during spring development is obtained. The formula for coefficient of degree of bee colony development during exact period is obtained. The whole combination of electrical technological actions let to increase the bee colony spring development by two times. The counting of the bee keeping labor profitability for the case of application of electrical technologies during winter and spring is carried out. Application of electrical technologies increases the profitability of honey production by two times. The competitiveness of honey bee products could be increased by the way of application of the meanings of efficient electrical technologies targeted onto increasing of honey productivity of bees, increasing of eco-purity of sanitary actions and decreasing of labor content of main technological actions. Using these calculations, you can create an automated climate control system in the hive. To do this, you must also take control laws and apply the appropriate sensors, microcontrollers and executive bodies. All of this will go to the next - higher level of profitability of beekeeping that rose-sieves produced pro-competitive products. To automate the most labor-intensive processes of beekeeping. These processes are pumping honey and labor costs beekeepers to carry out veterinary and sanitary measures

  6. Widespread occurrence of honey bee pathogens in solitary bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravoet, Jorgen; De Smet, Lina; Meeus, Ivan; Smagghe, Guy; Wenseleers, Tom; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2014-10-01

    Solitary bees and honey bees from a neighbouring apiary were screened for a broad set of putative pathogens including protists, fungi, spiroplasmas and viruses. Most sampled bees appeared to be infected with multiple parasites. Interestingly, viruses exclusively known from honey bees such as Apis mellifera Filamentous Virus and Varroa destructor Macula-like Virus were also discovered in solitary bees. A microsporidium found in Andrena vaga showed most resemblance to Nosema thomsoni. Our results suggest that bee hives represent a putative source of pathogens for other pollinators. Similarly, solitary bees may act as a reservoir of honey bee pathogens. PMID:25196470

  7. Characterization of the active microbiotas associated with honey bees reveals healthier and broader communities when colonies are genetically diverse

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mattila, H.R.; Rios, D.; Walker-Sperling, V.E.; Roeselers, G.; Newton, I.L.G.

    2012-01-01

    Recent losses of honey bee colonies have led to increased interest in the microbial communities that are associated with these important pollinators. A critical function that bacteria perform for their honey bee hosts, but one that is poorly understood, is the transformation of worker-collected poll

  8. Low-Temperature Stress during Capped Brood Stage Increases Pupal Mortality, Misorientation and Adult Mortality in Honey Bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qing; Xu, Xinjian; Zhu, Xiangjie; Chen, Lin; Zhou, Shujing; Huang, Zachary Y.; Zhou, Bingfeng

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are key pollinators, playing a vital role in ecosystem maintenance and stability of crop yields. Recently, reduced honey bee survival has attracted intensive attention. Among all other honey bee stresses, temperature is a fundamental ecological factor that has been shown to affect honey bee survival. Yet, the impact of low temperature stress during capped brood on brood mortality has not been systematically investigated. In addition, little was known about how low temperature exposure during capped brood affects subsequent adult longevity. In this study, capped worker broods at 12 different developmental stages were exposed to 20°C for 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84 and 96 hours, followed by incubation at 35°C until emergence. We found that longer durations of low temperature during capped brood led to higher mortality, higher incidences of misorientation inside cells and shorter worker longevity. Capped brood as prepupae and near emergence were more sensitive to low-temperature exposure, while capped larvae and mid-pupal stages showed the highest resistance to low-temperature stress. Our results suggest that prepupae and pupae prior to eclosion are the most sensitive stages to low temperature stress, as they are to other stresses, presumably due to many physiological changes related to metamorphosis happening during these two stages. Understanding how low-temperature stress affects honey bee physiology and longevity can improve honey bee management strategies. PMID:27149383

  9. Low-Temperature Stress during Capped Brood Stage Increases Pupal Mortality, Misorientation and Adult Mortality in Honey Bees.

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    Qing Wang

    Full Text Available Honey bees (Apis mellifera are key pollinators, playing a vital role in ecosystem maintenance and stability of crop yields. Recently, reduced honey bee survival has attracted intensive attention. Among all other honey bee stresses, temperature is a fundamental ecological factor that has been shown to affect honey bee survival. Yet, the impact of low temperature stress during capped brood on brood mortality has not been systematically investigated. In addition, little was known about how low temperature exposure during capped brood affects subsequent adult longevity. In this study, capped worker broods at 12 different developmental stages were exposed to 20°C for 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84 and 96 hours, followed by incubation at 35°C until emergence. We found that longer durations of low temperature during capped brood led to higher mortality, higher incidences of misorientation inside cells and shorter worker longevity. Capped brood as prepupae and near emergence were more sensitive to low-temperature exposure, while capped larvae and mid-pupal stages showed the highest resistance to low-temperature stress. Our results suggest that prepupae and pupae prior to eclosion are the most sensitive stages to low temperature stress, as they are to other stresses, presumably due to many physiological changes related to metamorphosis happening during these two stages. Understanding how low-temperature stress affects honey bee physiology and longevity can improve honey bee management strategies.

  10. Selection by pollinators on floral traits in generalized Trollius ranunculoides (Ranunculaceae along altitudinal gradients.

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    Zhi-Gang Zhao

    Full Text Available Abundance and visitation of pollinator assemblages tend to decrease with altitude, leading to an increase in pollen limitation. Thus increased competition for pollinators may generate stronger selection on attractive traits of flowers at high elevations and cause floral adaptive evolution. Few studies have related geographically variable selection from pollinators and intraspecific floral differentiation. We investigated the variation of Trollius ranunculoides flowers and its pollinators along an altitudinal gradient on the eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and measured phenotypic selection by pollinators on floral traits across populations. The results showed significant decline of visitation rate of bees along altitudinal gradients, while flies was unchanged. When fitness is estimated by the visitation rate rather than the seed number per plant, phenotypic selection on the sepal length and width shows a significant correlation between the selection strength and the altitude, with stronger selection at higher altitudes. However, significant decreases in the sepal length and width of T. ranunculoides along the altitudinal gradient did not correspond to stronger selection of pollinators. In contrast to the pollinator visitation, mean annual precipitation negatively affected the sepal length and width, and contributed more to geographical variation in measured floral traits than the visitation rate of pollinators. Therefore, the sepal size may have been influenced by conflicting selection pressures from biotic and abiotic selective agents. This study supports the hypothesis that lower pollinator availability at high altitude can intensify selection on flower attractive traits, but abiotic selection is preventing a response to selection from pollinators.

  11. Selection by pollinators on floral traits in generalized Trollius ranunculoides (Ranunculaceae) along altitudinal gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Zhi-Gang; Wang, Yi-Ke

    2015-01-01

    Abundance and visitation of pollinator assemblages tend to decrease with altitude, leading to an increase in pollen limitation. Thus increased competition for pollinators may generate stronger selection on attractive traits of flowers at high elevations and cause floral adaptive evolution. Few studies have related geographically variable selection from pollinators and intraspecific floral differentiation. We investigated the variation of Trollius ranunculoides flowers and its pollinators along an altitudinal gradient on the eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and measured phenotypic selection by pollinators on floral traits across populations. The results showed significant decline of visitation rate of bees along altitudinal gradients, while flies was unchanged. When fitness is estimated by the visitation rate rather than the seed number per plant, phenotypic selection on the sepal length and width shows a significant correlation between the selection strength and the altitude, with stronger selection at higher altitudes. However, significant decreases in the sepal length and width of T. ranunculoides along the altitudinal gradient did not correspond to stronger selection of pollinators. In contrast to the pollinator visitation, mean annual precipitation negatively affected the sepal length and width, and contributed more to geographical variation in measured floral traits than the visitation rate of pollinators. Therefore, the sepal size may have been influenced by conflicting selection pressures from biotic and abiotic selective agents. This study supports the hypothesis that lower pollinator availability at high altitude can intensify selection on flower attractive traits, but abiotic selection is preventing a response to selection from pollinators. PMID:25692295

  12. Predicting plant attractiveness to pollinators with passive crowdsourcing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahlai, Christie A; Landis, Douglas A

    2016-06-01

    observations were not associated with Internet images, but were slightly associated with BP. Our results suggest that passively crowdsourced image data can potentially be a useful screening tool to identify candidate plants for pollinator habitat restoration efforts directed at wild bee conservation. Increasing our understanding of the attractiveness of a greater diversity of plants increases the potential for more rapid and efficient research in creating pollinator-supportive landscapes. PMID:27429762

  13. Spatial heterogeneity and the distribution of bromeliad pollinators in the Atlantic Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varassin, Isabela Galarda; Sazima, Marlies

    2012-08-01

    Interactions between plants and their pollinators are influenced by environmental heterogeneity, resulting in small-scale variations in interactions. This may influence pollinator co-existence and plant reproductive success. This study, conducted at the Estação Biológica de Santa Lúcia (EBSL), a remnant of the Atlantic Forest in southeastern Brazil, investigated the effect of small-scale spatial variations on the interactions between bromeliads and their pollinators. Overall, hummingbirds pollinated 19 of 23 bromeliad species, of which 11 were also pollinated by bees and/or butterflies. However, spatial heterogeneity unrelated to the spatial location of plots or bromeliad species abundance influenced the presence of pollinators. Hummingbirds were the most ubiquitous pollinators at the high-elevation transect, with insect participation clearly declining as transect elevation increased. In the redundancy analysis, the presence of the hummingbird species Phaethornis eurynome, Phaethornis squalidus, Ramphodon naevius, and Thalurania glaucopis, and the butterfly species Heliconius erato and Heliconius nattereri in each plot was correlated with environmental factors such as bromeliad and tree abundance, and was also correlated with horizontal diversity. Since plant-pollinator interactions varied within the environmental mosaics at the study site, this small-scale environmental heterogeneity may relax competition among pollinators, and may explain the high diversity of bromeliads and pollinators generally found in the Atlantic Forest.

  14. Impact of honeybee (Apis mellifera L. density on wild bee foraging behaviour

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    Goras Georgios

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Honey bees are globally regarded as important crop pollinators and are also valued for their honey production. They have been introduced on an almost worldwide scale. During recent years, however, several studies argue their possible competition with unmanaged pollinators. Here we examine the possible effects of honey bees on the foraging behaviour of wild bees on Cistus creticus flowers in Northern Greece. We gradually introduced one, five, and eight honey-bee hives per site, each containing ca. 20,000 workers. The visitation frequency and visit duration of wild bees before and after the beehive introductions were measured by flower observation. While the visitation frequencies of wild bees were unaffected, the average time wild bees spent on C. creticus increased with the introduction of the honey-bee hives. Although competition between honey bees and wild bees is often expected, we did not find any clear evidence for significant effects even in honey-bee densities much higher than the European-wide average of 3.1 colonies/km2.

  15. Molecular diagnosis and characterization of honey bee pathogens

    OpenAIRE

    Forsgren, Eva

    2009-01-01

    Bees are crucial for maintaining biodiversity by pollination of numerous plant species. The European honey bee, Apis mellifera, is of great importance not only for the honey they produce, but also as vital pollinators of agricultural and horticultural crops. The economical value of pollination has been estimated to be several billion dollars, and pollinator declines are a global biodiversity threat. Hence, honey bee health has great impact on the economy, food production and biodiversity worl...

  16. Characterization of the active microbiotas associated with honey bees reveals healthier and broader communities when colonies are genetically diverse

    OpenAIRE

    Mattila, Heather R.; Daniela Rios; Walker-Sperling, Victoria E.; Guus Roeselers; Newton, Irene L.G.

    2012-01-01

    Recent losses of honey bee colonies have led to increased interest in the microbial communities that are associated with these important pollinators. A critical function that bacteria perform for their honey bee hosts, but one that is poorly understood, is the transformation of worker-collected pollen into bee bread, a nutritious food product that can be stored for long periods in colonies. We used 16S rRNA pyrosequencing to comprehensively characterize in genetically diverse and genetically ...

  17. Complementary ecosystem services provided by pest predators and pollinators increase quantity and quality of coffee yields

    OpenAIRE

    Classen, Alice; Peters, Marcell K; Ferger, Stefan W.; Helbig-Bonitz, Maria; Schmack, Julia M.; Maassen, Genevieve; Schleuning, Matthias; Kalko, Elisabeth K. V.; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2014-01-01

    Wild animals substantially support crop production by providing ecosystem services, such as pollination and natural pest control. However, the strengths of synergies between ecosystem services and their dependencies on land-use management are largely unknown. Here, we took an experimental approach to test the impact of land-use intensification on both individual and combined pollination and pest control services in coffee production systems at Mount Kilimanjaro. We established a full-factoria...

  18. Responses of social and solitary bees to pulsed floral resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crone, Elizabeth E

    2013-10-01

    Pulsed food resources lead to mismatches between distribution of consumers and resources in space and time. Many studies have investigated how pollinators and floral resources covary in space, but few have looked at their covariance among years. I studied responses of two bee taxa, Bombus (a social genus) and Anthophora (a solitary genus), to variation in flowering by Astragalus scaphoides, a perennial herb that flowers in alternate years. First, I quantified the rate at which individual plants were visited by bees. Anthophora showed evidence of a demographic response to resource pulses--that is, more individuals were seen in the year after a high-flowering year--whereas Bombus did not. Second, I quantified pollinator behavior by following individual bees and recording the proportion of visits to A. scaphoides within single foraging bouts. The proportion of visits to A. scaphoides by both taxa increased with A. scaphoides's flowering density. Higher specialization in high-flowering years likely makes both taxa better pollinators in high-flowering years. If these taxa differ in effectiveness as pollinators, then these responses translate into variation in pollination services in space and time, specifically, more activity by Bombus in high-flowering years and more by Anthophora in years following high-flowering years. They also emphasize that pollinator activity depends in part on past-as well as current-floral resources. PMID:24021399

  19. Bees require protection for sustainable horticultural crops production in Kenya

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    Kasina, Muo J.

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: Horticulture is the fastest growing agriculture subsector in Kenya, with the majority of production consumed locally and only less than 10% is exported. Intensive farming is currently practiced. Majority of Kenyan farmers have small land size, less than 1 ha where they grow not only horticultural crops but other food crops and livestock keeping. This paper highlights aspects of bees that relate to horticultural production and suggests reasons why bee protection is essential in Kenya.Results: Kenya is rich in diversity of horticultural crops. Only few of these are traded in domestic and export market. The rest are consumed locally and have not been promoted for commercial gains. Wide range of fruits and vegetables require xenogamous pollination to enhance yields. Farmers have reported reduced honey bee visits on their crops though they are less aware of pollination needs of their crops. Also, pollination management is not included in their crop management practices. Conclusion: Bees are an essential component of horticultural production but their survival has been threatened by farm practices in Kenya amongst other factors. Policy support is suggested to minimize the bee decline trend and to increase their use for pollination provision.

  20. Bee assemblage in habitats associated with Brassica napus L.

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    Rosana Halinski

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACTAssessments in agricultural crops indicate that alterations in the landscape adjacent to the crops can result in reduced productivity due to loss or low abundance of pollinating agents. In the canola crop, production is partially dependent on insect pollination. Therefore, knowledge of the faunal diversity within and near crop fields is key for the management of these insects and consequently for the increase in productivity. This study aimed to determine and compare the diversity of bees in habitats associated with canola fields in southern Brazil. Bees were captured in four agricultural areas using pan traps in three habitat classes: (1 flowering canola crop, (2 forest remnant, and (3 grassland vegetation. The highest abundance of bees was observed in the grassland vegetation (50% and in the flowering canola field (47%. Eight species common to the three habitat classes were recorded, four of which are represented by native social bees. In addition, a single or a few individuals represented species that were exclusive to a specific habitat class; eight species were collected exclusively in the interior of the canola field, 51 in the grassland vegetation, and six in the forest remnant. The majority of the rare species recorded exhibits subsocial or solitary behaviour and inhabit open places. The composition of bee groups differed between the habitats showing the importance of maintaining habitat mosaics with friendly areas for pollinators, which promote the pollination service for canola flowers.

  1. Prolonged Postdiapause: Influence on some Indicators of Carbohydrate and Lipid Metabolism of the Red Mason Bee, Osmia rufa

    OpenAIRE

    Dmochowska, Kamila; Giejdasz, Karol; Fliszkiewicz, Monika; Żółtowska, Krystyna

    2013-01-01

    Bees of the genus Osmia are being used in crop pollination at an increasing rate. However, a short life expectancy of adult individuals limits the feasibility of their use. Cocoons of the red mason bee, Osmia rufa L. (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), can be stored at 4° C in a postdiapause state, and adult bees can be used for pollination outside their natural flight period. The period of storage in this form has an unfavorable influence on the survival rate, life expectancy, and fertility of the ...

  2. Tropilaelaps of bees - epizootiological picture with special emphasis on the first description of the parasite in bumblebees and bees in Serbia

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    Manić Marija

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Honey bees are the most significant pollinators of plants worlwide. Importance of plant pollination widely exceeds all other economic benefits of modern beekeeping such as production of honey, Royal jelly, propolis, beeswax, honeybee venom etc. The issues concerning bees diseases are of extreme importance in modern commercial beekeeping. That especially regards to the fact that the number of disease agents in bees has considerably increased in recent decades. Using international transport, export or import of bees and their products, the possibility of entering various agents (parasites, bacterias, viruses and fungi into bee colonies. In recent years one of the biggest problems in beekeeping in Asia has become tropilaelaps - ectoparasitic bee disease caused by mites of the genus Tropilaelaps. But because of prevalent interest in parasites Varroa destructor and Acarapis woodi, the threat of mites from Tropileaps family has not been familiar for a long period of time. Today, Tropilaelaps is on the list of diseases endangering the whole world, made by OIE. There is a real risk of its spreading, mostly through trade, that is import of bees, swarms, queen bees, bee products and equipment. In the Republic of Serbia, this disease was described for the first time in April-May 1981 in bumblebees and bees in which a mass infestation with until then unknown parasites was detected. By additional analysis there was found out that the parasite in question was from Laelapidae (Mesostigmata family, Tropilaelaps.

  3. The habitat disruption induces immune-suppression and oxidative stress in honey bees

    OpenAIRE

    Morimoto, Tomomi; Kojima, Yuriko; Toki, Taku; Komeda, Yayoi; YOSHIYAMA, Mikio; Kimura, Kiyoshi; Nirasawa, Keijiro; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko

    2011-01-01

    The honey bee is a major insect used for pollination of many commercial crops worldwide. Although the use of honey bees for pollination can disrupt the habitat, the effects on their physiology have never been determined. Recently, honey bee colonies have often collapsed when introduced in greenhouses for pollination in Japan. Thus, suppressing colony collapses and maintaining the number of worker bees in the colonies is essential for successful long-term pollination in greenhouses and recycli...

  4. Osmia cornuta (Hymenoptera, Megachilidae) as a pollinator of pear (Pyrus communis): fruit- and seed-set

    OpenAIRE

    Maccagnani, Bettina; Ladurner, Edith; SANTI, FABRIZIO; Burgio, Giovanni

    2003-01-01

    To investigate the possibility of pollinating 'Abate Fetel' and 'Max Red Bartlett' pears with O. cornuta, different pollination treatments were compared in 1998 and 1999: (1) trees caged with O. cornuta bees; (2) open pollination - uncaged trees located at various distances from O. cornuta nesting shelters; (3) trees caged without bees. O. cornuta was the most abundant pollinator species in the orchard (97.6% of the observed insects). Caged trees pollinated by O. cornuta set significantly mor...

  5. 不同蜂传粉对设施桃果实生长发育和品质的影响%Effects of pollination by different bees on peach fruit development and quality under greenhouse conditions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    董捷; 安建东; 黄家兴; 周志勇; 赵亚周; 邢艳红

    2011-01-01

    Honeybee Apis metlifera and bumblebee Bomhus hypocrita are Ihe two main pollinators of greenhouse peaches in China. The effects of pollination by the two bee species on peach fruit development and quality were studied in greenhouse conditions in Pinggu of Beijing City for 2008-2010. The results showed that the diameter growth rate of peach fruit pollinated by B. Hypocrita was significantly higher (P0.05) in fruit quality between fruits pollinated by different pollinator species. However, the quality of fruits pollinated by bees was significantly better (P<0.05) than that of the control (artificial pollination). Compared with A. Mellifera pollination, B. Hypocrita pollination resulted in higher single fruit weight and lower rate of malformed fruit (P<0.05) of peach fruits. In conclusion, the Chinese native bumblebee B. Hypocrita was a better pollinator of greenhouses peach than the honeybee A. Mellifera.%应用意大利蜜蜂和小峰熊蜂在北京平谷区果树试验站为设施桃传粉,以研究2种蜂的传粉行为对设施桃果实生长发育及其品质的影响.结果表明,应用小峰熊蜂授粉,设施桃果实在整个发育过程中的果径增长速度显著高于意大利蜜蜂授粉的果实(P<0.05).2种蜂授粉的设施桃果实发育历期不同,小峰熊蜂授粉区的桃果实比意大利蜜蜂授粉区的果实提前7d左右成熟.桃的生理落果高峰在小峰熊蜂授粉区出现2次,而在意大利蜜蜂授粉区出现3次.在小峰熊蜂授粉区,距离蜂箱不同距离之间的桃座果率基本一致;而在意大利蜜蜂授粉区,座果率随着与蜂箱距离的增大而明显降低.小峰熊蜂授粉区桃树的平均座果率略高于意大利蜜蜂授粉区,但二者之间差异不显著(P>0.05).经2种蜂传粉的设施桃果实营养品质差异不显著(P>0 05),但二者均明显优于人工授粉组(对照).和意大利蜜蜂授粉的桃果实相比,经小峰熊蜂传粉后的桃果实,

  6. Pollination Services of Mango Flower Pollinators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huda, A Nurul; Salmah, M R Che; Hassan, A Abu; Hamdan, A; Razak, M N Abdul

    2015-01-01

    Measuring wild pollinator services in agricultural production is very important in the context of sustainable management. In this study, we estimated the contribution of native pollinators to mango fruit set production of two mango cultivars Mangifera indica (L). cv. 'Sala' and 'Chok Anan'. Visitation rates of pollinators on mango flowers and number of pollen grains adhering to their bodies determined pollinator efficiency for reproductive success of the crop. Chok Anan failed to produce any fruit set in the absence of pollinators. In natural condition, we found that Sala produced 4.8% fruit set per hermaphrodite flower while Chok Anan produced 3.1% per flower. Hand pollination tremendously increased fruit set of naturally pollinated flower for Sala (>100%), but only 33% for Chok Anan. Pollinator contribution to mango fruit set was estimated at 53% of total fruit set production. Our results highlighted the importance of insect pollinations in mango production. Large size flies Eristalinus spp. and Chrysomya spp. were found to be effective pollen carriers and visited more mango flowers compared with other flower visitors. PMID:26246439

  7. Bee community shifts with landscape context in a tropical countryside.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brosi, Berry J; Daily, Gretchen C; Ehrlich, Paul R

    2007-03-01

    The ongoing scientific controversy over a putative "global pollination crisis" underscores the lack of understanding of the response of bees (the most important taxon of pollinators) to ongoing global land-use changes. We studied the effects of distance to forest, tree management, and floral resources on bee communities in pastures (the dominant land-use type) in southern Costa Rica. Over two years, we sampled bees and floral resources in 21 pastures at three distance classes from a large (approximately 230-ha) forest patch and of three common types: open pasture; pasture with remnant trees; and pasture with live fences. We found no consistent differences in bee diversity or abundance with respect to pasture management or floral resources. Bee community composition, however, was strikingly different at forest edges as compared to deforested countryside only a few hundred meters from forest. At forest edges, native social stingless bees (Apidae: Meliponini) comprised approximately 50% of the individuals sampled, while the alien honeybee Apis mellifera made up only approximately 5%. Away from forests, meliponines dropped to approximately 20% of sampled bees, whereas Apis increased to approximately 45%. Meliponine bees were also more speciose at forest edge sites than at a distance from forest, their abundance decreased with continuous distance to the nearest forest patch, and their species richness was correlated with the proportion of forest cover surrounding sample sites at scales from 200 to 1200 m. Meliponines and Apis together comprise the eusocial bee fauna of the study area and are unique in quickly recruiting foragers to high-quality resources. The diverse assemblage of native meliponine bees covers a wide range of body sizes and flower foraging behavior not found in Apis, and populations of many bee species (including Apis), are known to fluctuate considerably from year to year. Thus, the forest-related changes in eusocial bee communities we found may have

  8. Invasive species management restores a plant-pollinator mutualism in Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanna, Cause; Foote, David; Kremen, Claire

    2013-01-01

    1.The management and removal of invasive species may give rise to unanticipated changes in plant–pollinator mutualisms because they can alter the composition and functioning of plant–pollinator interactions in a variety of ways. To utilize a functional approach for invasive species management, we examined the restoration of plant–pollinator mutualisms following the large-scale removal of an invasive nectar thief and arthropod predator, Vespula pensylvanica. 2.We reduced V. pensylvanica populations in large plots managed over multiple years to examine the response of plant–pollinator mutualisms and the fruit production of a functionally important endemic Hawaiian tree species, Metrosideros polymorpha. To integrate knowledge of the invader's behaviour and the plant's mating system, we determined the efficacy of V. pensylvanica as a pollinator of M. polymorpha and quantified the dependence of M. polymorpha on animal pollination (e.g. level of self-compatibility and pollen limitation). 3.The reduction of V. pensylvanica in managed sites, when compared to unmanaged sites, resulted in a significant increase in the visitation rates of effective bee pollinators (e.g. introduced Apis mellifera and native Hylaeus spp.) and in the fruit production of M. polymorpha. 4.Apis mellifera, following the management of V. pensylvanica, appears to be acting as a substitute pollinator for M. polymorpha, replacing extinct or threatened bird and bee species in our study system. 5.Synthesis and applications. Fruit production of the native M. polymorpha was increased after management of the invasive pollinator predator V. pensylvanica; however, the main pollinators were no longer native but introduced. This research thus demonstrates the diverse impacts of introduced species on ecological function and the ambiguous role they play in restoration. We recommend incorporating ecological function and context into invasive species management as this approach may enable conservation

  9. Bee Hunt! Ecojustice in Practice for Earth's Buzzing Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Michael P.; Pickering, John

    2010-01-01

    The Bee Hunt! project and curriculum are designed with cultural and environmental sensitivity in mind. In this project, K-12 students develop their awareness and understanding of science and investigate North American pollinator declines. Bees, butterflies, and other pollinators are integrally connected to the pollination of the world's crops for…

  10. Pollinator responses to floral colour change, nectar, and scent promote reproductive fitness in Quisqualis indica (Combretaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Juan; Wang, Gang; Sui, Yi; Wang, Menglin; Zhang, Ling

    2016-01-01

    Floral colour change is visual signals for pollinators to avoid old flowers and increase pollination efficiency. Quisqualis indica flowers change colour from white to pink to red may be associated with a shift from moth to butterfly pollination. To test this hypothesis, we investigated Q. indica populations in Southwest China. Flowers secreted nectar continuously from the evening of anthesis until the following morning, then decreased gradually with floral colour change. The scent compounds in the three floral colour stages were similar; however, the scent composition was different, and the scent emission rate decreased from the white to red stage. Dichogamy in Q. indica prevents self-pollination and interference of male and female functions. Controlled pollinations demonstrated that this species is self-incompatible and needs pollinators for seed production. Different pollinators were attracted in each floral colour stage; mainly moths at night and bees and butterflies during the day. Observations of open-pollinated inflorescences showed that white flowers had a higher fruit set than pink or red flowers, indicating the high contribution of moths to reproductive success. We concluded that the nectar and scent secretion are related to floral colour change in Q. indica, in order to attract different pollinators and promote reproductive fitness. PMID:27072926

  11. Pollination system and the effect of inflorescence size on fruit set in the deceptive orchid Cephalanthera falcata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suetsugu, Kenji; Naito, Risa S; Fukushima, Shigeki; Kawakita, Atsushi; Kato, Makoto

    2015-07-01

    Larger inflorescences in reward-producing plants can benefit plants by increasing both pollinator attraction and the duration of visits by individual pollinators. However, ultimately, inflorescence size is determined by the balance between the benefits of large inflorescences and the increased cost of geitonogamy. At present, little is known about the relationship between inflorescence size and fecundity in deceptive plants. Given that pollinators are likely to leave inflorescences lacking rewards quickly, it seems unlikely that longer pollinator visits and the risk of geitonogamy would be strong selective pressures in these species, which indicates that pollinator attraction might be the most important factor influencing their inflorescence size. Here we examined the pollination ecology of the deceptive orchid Cephalanthera falcata in order to clarify the effects of inflorescence size on the fruit set of this non-rewarding species. Field observations of the floral visitors showed that C. falcata is pollinated by the andrenid bee Andrena aburana, whilst pollination experiments demonstrated that this orchid species is neither autogamous nor apogamous, but is strongly pollinator dependent. Three consecutive years of field observations revealed that fruit set was positively correlated with the number of flowers per inflorescence. These results provide strong evidence that the nectarless orchid C. falcata benefits from producing larger inflorescences that attract a greater number of innate pollinators. Large inflorescences may have a greater positive effect on fruit set in deceptive plants because a growing number of studies suggest that fruit set in reward-producing plants is usually unaffected by display size. PMID:25801274

  12. Special Issue: Honey Bee Viruses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Gisder

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Pollination of flowering plants is an important ecosystem service provided by wild insect pollinators and managed honey bees. Hence, losses and declines of pollinating insect species threaten human food security and are of major concern not only for apiculture or agriculture but for human society in general. Honey bee colony losses and bumblebee declines have attracted intensive research interest over the last decade and although the problem is far from being solved we now know that viruses are among the key players of many of these bee losses and bumblebee declines. With this special issue on bee viruses we, therefore, aimed to collect high quality original papers reflecting the current state of bee virus research. To this end, we focused on newly discovered viruses (Lake Sinai viruses, bee macula-like virus, or a so far neglected virus species (Apis mellifera filamentous virus, and cutting edge technologies (mass spectrometry, RNAi approach applied in the field.

  13. Red mason bees cannot compete with honey bees for floral resources in a cage experiment

    OpenAIRE

    Hudewenz, Anika; Klein, Alexandra‐Maria

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Intensive beekeeping to mitigate crop pollination deficits and habitat loss may cause interspecific competition between bees. Studies show negative correlations between flower visitation of honey bees (Apis mellifera) and wild bees, but effects on the reproduction of wild bees were not proven. Likely reasons are that honey bees can hardly be excluded from controls and wild bee nests are generally difficult to detect in field experiments. The goal of this study was to investigate whet...

  14. Genomic Analyses of the Microsporidian Nosema ceranae, an Emergent Pathogen of Honey Bees

    OpenAIRE

    Cornman, R. Scott; Chen, Yan Ping; Schatz, Michael C; Street, Craig; Yan ZHAO; Desany, Brian; Egholm, Michael; Hutchison, Stephen; Pettis, Jeffery S.; Lipkin, W. Ian; Evans, Jay D.

    2009-01-01

    Recent steep declines in honey bee health have severely impacted the beekeeping industry, presenting new risks for agricultural commodities that depend on insect pollination. Honey bee declines could reflect increased pressures from parasites and pathogens. The incidence of the microsporidian pathogen Nosema ceranae has increased significantly in the past decade. Here we present a draft assembly (7.86 MB) of the N. ceranae genome derived from pyrosequence data, including initial gene models a...

  15. Genomic analyses of the microsporidian Nosema ceranae, an emergent pathogen of honey bees.

    OpenAIRE

    R. Scott Cornman; Yan Ping Chen; Schatz, Michael C; Craig Street; Yan Zhao; Brian Desany; Michael Egholm; Stephen Hutchison; Pettis, Jeffery S.; W Ian Lipkin; Evans, Jay D.

    2009-01-01

    Recent steep declines in honey bee health have severely impacted the beekeeping industry, presenting new risks for agricultural commodities that depend on insect pollination. Honey bee declines could reflect increased pressures from parasites and pathogens. The incidence of the microsporidian pathogen Nosema ceranae has increased significantly in the past decade. Here we present a draft assembly (7.86 MB) of the N. ceranae genome derived from pyrosequence data, including initial gene models a...

  16. Increased Resin Collection after Parasite Challenge: A Case of Self-Medication in Honey Bees?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simone-Finstrom, Michael D.; Spivak, Marla

    2012-01-01

    The constant pressure posed by parasites has caused species throughout the animal kingdom to evolve suites of mechanisms to resist infection. Individual barriers and physiological defenses are considered the main barriers against parasites in invertebrate species. However, behavioral traits and other non-immunological defenses can also effectively reduce parasite transmission and infection intensity. In social insects, behaviors that reduce colony-level parasite loads are termed “social immunity.” One example of a behavioral defense is resin collection. Honey bees forage for plant-produced resins and incorporate them into their nest architecture. This use of resins can reduce chronic elevation of an individual bee's immune response. Since high activation of individual immunity can impose colony-level fitness costs, collection of resins may benefit both the individual and colony fitness. However the use of resins as a more direct defense against pathogens is unclear. Here we present evidence that honey bee colonies may self-medicate with plant resins in response to a fungal infection. Self-medication is generally defined as an individual responding to infection by ingesting or harvesting non-nutritive compounds or plant materials. Our results show that colonies increase resin foraging rates after a challenge with a fungal parasite (Ascophaera apis: chalkbrood or CB). Additionally, colonies experimentally enriched with resin had decreased infection intensities of this fungal parasite. If considered self-medication, this is a particularly unique example because it operates at the colony level. Most instances of self-medication involve pharmacophagy, whereby individuals change their diet in response to direct infection with a parasite. In this case with honey bees, resins are not ingested but used within the hive by adult bees exposed to fungal spores. Thus the colony, as the unit of selection, may be responding to infection through self-medication by increasing

  17. HONEY BEES–POTENTIAL POLLINATORS IN HYBRID SEED PRODUCTION OF SUNFLOWER

    OpenAIRE

    M. Rajasri; K. Kanakadurga; V.Durga Rani; Ch. Anuradha

    2012-01-01

    A study was conducted to find out the role of honeybees on pollination, seed setting and seedquality of hybrid sunflower. The foraging behavior of natural bee visitants was studied on the parental lines ofsunflower hybrid NDSH1 during the flowering period. Most predominant bees observed are Rock bees, Apisdorsata, European bee, Apis mellifera,Indian bee, Apis cerana indica and Stingless bees, Trigona irridipenis.Bee visitants are more on R line compared to A line. The seed setting percentage ...

  18. Floral nectar guide patterns discourage nectar robbing by bumble bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne S Leonard

    Full Text Available Floral displays are under selection to both attract pollinators and deter antagonists. Here we show that a common floral trait, a nectar guide pattern, alters the behavior of bees that can act opportunistically as both pollinators and as antagonists. Generally, bees access nectar via the floral limb, transporting pollen through contact with the plant's reproductive structures; however bees sometimes extract nectar from a hole in the side of the flower that they or other floral visitors create. This behavior is called "nectar robbing" because bees may acquire the nectar without transporting pollen. We asked whether the presence of a symmetric floral nectar guide pattern on artificial flowers affected bumble bees' (Bombus impatiens propensity to rob or access nectar "legitimately." We discovered that nectar guides made legitimate visits more efficient for bees than robbing, and increased the relative frequency of legitimate visits, compared to flowers lacking nectar guides. This study is the first to show that beyond speeding nectar discovery, a nectar guide pattern can influence bees' flower handling in a way that could benefit the plant.

  19. Native insect pollinators in Apple orchards under different management practices in the Kashmir Valley

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muzaffar Ahmad Ganie

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available It is now clear that over use of pesticides and intensive management of orchards can lead to drastic declines in apple pollinator abundance and crop failures. During the period of study a grower’s survey was conducted to know about knowledge of farmers on native insect pollinators, pollinator management practices, their perceptions of the importance and utility of native pollinators, and their attitudes regarding pesticide application. Despite of having significant knowledge of managed pollination, only few farmers (2% adopted supplementary methods of pollination (renting honey bee colonies, hand pollination etc.. In Pulwama, 60% of farmers had knowledge about native insect pollinators and 40% did not have any idea of native pollinators and in case of Shopian, the figures were fifty-fifty i.e. 50% had knowledge about native insect pollinators and 50% were unaware. During the period of investigation, native insect pollinators were sampled from different apple orchards under different management systems in early spring during apple flowering. A total of 17 species of insect pollinators belonging to 11 families and 3 orders_ Hymenoptera, Diptera and Lepidoptera registered their occurrence at all the studied apple orchards of the Kashmir Valley. At all the study sites i.e. apple orchards under different management systems, family Halictidae and Empididae registered their presence as dominant groups. The % family contribution of the former at different orchard types decreased with increase in the intensity of the management system and the % family contribution of the later however, showed a direct relationship with the management system found, i.e. the more intense the system, the more abundant was the group. Other groups in general did not show any greater differences in abundances at different sites studied.

  20. Queens become workers: pesticides alter caste differentiation in bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    dos Santos, Charles F.; Acosta, André L.; Dorneles, Andressa L.; dos Santos, Patrick D. S.; Blochtein, Betina

    2016-01-01

    Bees are important for the world biodiversity and economy because they provide key pollination services in forests and crops. However, pesticide use in crops has adversely affected (decreased) queen production because of increased mortality among larvae. Here, we demonstrated that in vitro-reared queens of a neotropical social bee species (Plebeia droryana) also showed high larval mortality after exposure to an organophosphate pesticide (chlorpyrifos) via larval food. Moreover, most of the surviving larvae that were destined to develop into queens became workers more likely because they ate less food than expected without pesticide skewing thus caste differentiation in this bee species. This adverse effect has not been previously reported for any other social insects, such as honeybees or bumblebees. Queens are essential for breeding and colony growth. Therefore, if our data are applicable to other pantropical social bee species across the globe, it is likely that these bees are at a serious risk of failure to form new colonies. PMID:27530246

  1. Queens become workers: pesticides alter caste differentiation in bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dos Santos, Charles F; Acosta, André L; Dorneles, Andressa L; Dos Santos, Patrick D S; Blochtein, Betina

    2016-01-01

    Bees are important for the world biodiversity and economy because they provide key pollination services in forests and crops. However, pesticide use in crops has adversely affected (decreased) queen production because of increased mortality among larvae. Here, we demonstrated that in vitro-reared queens of a neotropical social bee species (Plebeia droryana) also showed high larval mortality after exposure to an organophosphate pesticide (chlorpyrifos) via larval food. Moreover, most of the surviving larvae that were destined to develop into queens became workers more likely because they ate less food than expected without pesticide skewing thus caste differentiation in this bee species. This adverse effect has not been previously reported for any other social insects, such as honeybees or bumblebees. Queens are essential for breeding and colony growth. Therefore, if our data are applicable to other pantropical social bee species across the globe, it is likely that these bees are at a serious risk of failure to form new colonies. PMID:27530246

  2. Specialist pollinators deplete pollen in the spring ephemeral wildflower Claytonia virginica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Alison J; Williams, Neal M; Thomson, James D

    2016-08-01

    Pollinators that collect pollen - and specifically, pollen-specialist bees - are often considered to be the best pollinators of a (host) plant. Although pollen collectors and pollen specialists often benefit host plants, especially in the pollen that they deliver (their pollination "effectiveness"), they can also exact substantial costs because they are motivated to collect as much pollen as possible, reducing the proportion of pollen removed that is subsequently delivered to stigmas (their pollination "efficiency"). From the plant perspective, pollen grains that do not pollinate conspecific stigmas are "wasted", and potentially costly. We measured costs and benefits of nectar-collecting, pollen-collecting, and pollen-specialist pollinator visitation to the spring ephemeral Claytonia virginica. Visits by the pollen-specialist bee Andrena erigeniae depleted pollen quickly and thoroughly. Although all pollinators delivered roughly the same number of grains, the pollen specialist contributed most to C. virginica pollen delivery because of high visitation rates. However, the pollen specialist also removed a large number of grains; this removal may be especially costly because it resulted in the depletion of pollen grains in C. virginica populations. While C. virginica appears to rely on pollen transfer by the pollen specialist in these populations, nectar-collecting visitors could provide the same benefit at a lower cost if their visitation rates increased. Pollen depletion affects a pollinator's value to plants, but is frequently overlooked. If they lower the effectiveness of future floral visitors, visits by A. erigeniae females to C. virginica may be more detrimental than beneficial compared to other pollinators and may, in some circumstances, reduce plant fitness rather than increase it. Therefore, A. erigeniae and C. virginica may vary in their degree of mutualism depending on the ecological context. PMID:27551374

  3. Breeding system and pollination biology of paeonia delavayi (peaoniaceae), an endangered plant in the southwest of china

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Breeding system and pollination biology of Paeonia delavayi (Peaoniaceae) from Shangri-La, Yunnan Province, southwest of China were studied. Flowering phenologies and flower visitors were observed or collected from 2008 to 2011. The pollen viability, stigma receptivity and pollination efficiency of different visitors were detected and tested. The florescence lasted for 6- 9d in a single flower from mid-May to late June. A high percentage of flower damage promoted early anther dehiscence. Flowers started disseminating pollen at 1-2 d after flowering, and lasted for 5-6 d. Pollen viability could be preserved for more than 10 d at normal temperature. High seed rate from the stigma was observed at 1 d before flowering to 3d after flowering, and the dissemination hysteresis was defined as protogyny. The P/O ratios were 6,124 to 9,713:1, suggesting that the larger quantity of pollen to increased the seed setting rate. Three species of bees, eight species of beetles, seven species of syrphid flies, four species of ants, and three species of butterflies were observed on the flowers. P. delavayi rewarded to the visitors by releasing fragrance, providing pollen and nectar. On the bodies of the visitors under stereomicroscope and scanning electron microscope (SEM), much pollen from the plants of similar flowering period inner community were found which indicated that these incompatible visitors were not species-specific pollinators. The bagging experiments showed that P. delavayi was selfincompatible and no apomixes. Anemophily only played a minor role in the fertilization. A few seeds with poor plumpness can be produced by geitonogamy. Seed setting rate of artificial xenogamy was higher than natural pollination. Artificial control of the visitors' species showed bees being the most important pollinators. Beetles and ants participated in pollination to someextent and were unstable. Syrphid flies and butterflies were very unreliable with low pollination efficiency

  4. Enhancing legume ecosystem services through an understanding of plant-pollinator interplay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Jose eSuso

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Legumes are bee-pollinated, but to a different extent. The importance of the plant-pollinator interplay (PPI, in flowering crops such as legumes lies in a combination of the importance of pollination for the production service and breeding strategies, plus the increasing urgency in mitigating the decline of pollinators through the development and implementation of conservation measures. To realize the full potential of the PPI, a multidisciplinary approach is required. This article assembles an international team of genebank managers, geneticists, plant breeders, experts on environmental governance and agro-ecology, and comprises several sections. The contributions in these sections outline both the state of the art of knowledge in the field and the novel aspects under development, and encompass a range of reviews, opinions and perspectives. The first three sections explore the role of PPI in legume breeding strategies. PPI based approaches to crop improvement can make it possible to adapt and re-design breeding strategies to meet both goals of: 1 optimal productivity, based on an efficient use of pollinators, and 2 biodiversity conservation. The next section deals with entomological aspects and focuses on the protection of the pest control service and pollinators in legume crops. The final section addresses general approaches to encourage the synergy between food production and pollination services at farmer field level. Two basic approaches are proposed: a Farming with Alternative Pollinators (FAP and b Crop Design System (CDS.

  5. Enhancing Legume Ecosystem Services through an Understanding of Plant–Pollinator Interplay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suso, María J.; Bebeli, Penelope J.; Christmann, Stefanie; Mateus, Célia; Negri, Valeria; Pinheiro de Carvalho, Miguel A. A.; Torricelli, Renzo; Veloso, Maria M.

    2016-01-01

    Legumes are bee-pollinated, but to a different extent. The importance of the plant–pollinator interplay (PPI), in flowering crops such as legumes lies in a combination of the importance of pollination for the production service and breeding strategies, plus the increasing urgency in mitigating the decline of pollinators through the development and implementation of conservation measures. To realize the full potential of the PPI, a multidisciplinary approach is required. This article assembles an international team of genebank managers, geneticists, plant breeders, experts on environmental governance and agro-ecology, and comprises several sections. The contributions in these sections outline both the state of the art of knowledge in the field and the novel aspects under development, and encompass a range of reviews, opinions and perspectives. The first three sections explore the role of PPI in legume breeding strategies. PPI based approaches to crop improvement can make it possible to adapt and re-design breeding strategies to meet both goals of: (1) optimal productivity, based on an efficient use of pollinators, and (2) biodiversity conservation. The next section deals with entomological aspects and focuses on the protection of the “pest control service” and pollinators in legume crops. The final section addresses general approaches to encourage the synergy between food production and pollination services at farmer field level. Two basic approaches are proposed: (a) Farming with Alternative Pollinators and (b) Crop Design System. PMID:27047514

  6. Enhancing Legume Ecosystem Services through an Understanding of Plant-Pollinator Interplay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suso, María J; Bebeli, Penelope J; Christmann, Stefanie; Mateus, Célia; Negri, Valeria; Pinheiro de Carvalho, Miguel A A; Torricelli, Renzo; Veloso, Maria M

    2016-01-01

    Legumes are bee-pollinated, but to a different extent. The importance of the plant-pollinator interplay (PPI), in flowering crops such as legumes lies in a combination of the importance of pollination for the production service and breeding strategies, plus the increasing urgency in mitigating the decline of pollinators through the development and implementation of conservation measures. To realize the full potential of the PPI, a multidisciplinary approach is required. This article assembles an international team of genebank managers, geneticists, plant breeders, experts on environmental governance and agro-ecology, and comprises several sections. The contributions in these sections outline both the state of the art of knowledge in the field and the novel aspects under development, and encompass a range of reviews, opinions and perspectives. The first three sections explore the role of PPI in legume breeding strategies. PPI based approaches to crop improvement can make it possible to adapt and re-design breeding strategies to meet both goals of: (1) optimal productivity, based on an efficient use of pollinators, and (2) biodiversity conservation. The next section deals with entomological aspects and focuses on the protection of the "pest control service" and pollinators in legume crops. The final section addresses general approaches to encourage the synergy between food production and pollination services at farmer field level. Two basic approaches are proposed: (a) Farming with Alternative Pollinators and (b) Crop Design System. PMID:27047514

  7. A strong immune response in young adult honeybees masks their increased susceptibility to infection compared to older bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James C Bull

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Honeybees, Apis mellifera, show age-related division of labor in which young adults perform maintenance ("housekeeping" tasks inside the colony before switching to outside foraging at approximately 23 days old. Disease resistance is an important feature of honeybee biology, but little is known about the interaction of pathogens and age-related division of labor. We tested a hypothesis that older forager bees and younger "house" bees differ in susceptibility to infection. We coupled an infection bioassay with a functional analysis of gene expression in individual bees using a whole genome microarray. Forager bees treated with the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae s.l. survived for significantly longer than house bees. This was concomitant with substantial differences in gene expression including genes associated with immune function. In house bees, infection was associated with differential expression of 35 candidate immune genes contrasted with differential expression of only two candidate immune genes in forager bees. For control bees (i.e. not treated with M. anisopliae the development from the house to the forager stage was associated with differential expression of 49 candidate immune genes, including up-regulation of the antimicrobial peptide gene abaecin, plus major components of the Toll pathway, serine proteases, and serpins. We infer that reduced pathogen susceptibility in forager bees was associated with age-related activation of specific immune system pathways. Our findings contrast with the view that the immunocompetence in social insects declines with the onset of foraging as a result of a trade-off in the allocation of resources for foraging. The up-regulation of immune-related genes in young adult bees in response to M. anisopliae infection was an indicator of disease susceptibility; this also challenges previous research in social insects, in which an elevated immune status has been used as a marker of increased

  8. Pollination efficiency of the stingless bee Melipona subnitida on greenhouse sweet pepper Eficiência de polinização da abelha sem ferrão Melipona subnitida na cultura do pimentão em casa de vegetação

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darci de Oliveira Cruz

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available The present study was carried out in Northeastern Region of Brazil, in order to investigate the use of stingless bee Melipona subnitida Ducke in the pollination of greenhouse sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum L.. Treatments of hand cross-pollination, hand self-pollination, pollination by bees and restricted pollination were performed. Results showed that despite sweet pepper flowers are considered autogamous, this crop benefits from pollination by M. subnitida, producing fruits significantly heavier and wider, containing a greater number of seeds and of better quality (lower percentage of malformed fruits than self-pollinated sweet pepper. Thus, M. subnitida can be considered an efficient pollinator of greenhouse sweet pepper.O objetivo deste trabalho foi investigar o uso da abelha sem ferrão Melipona subnitida Ducke, na polinização de flores de pimentão (Capsicum annuum L., sob cultivo protegido, na Região Nordeste do Brasil. Foram comparados tratamentos de polinização cruzada manual, polinização por abelhas, autopolinização manual e polinização restrita. Os resultados mostraram que apesar de as flores de pimentão serem consideradas autógamas, essa cultura beneficia-se da polinização realizada por M. subnitida, produzindo frutos significativamente mais pesados e mais largos, com um número maior de sementes e de melhor qualidade (baixo porcentual de frutos deformados, quando comparada com a cultura autopolinizada. Portanto, M. subnitida pode ser considerada uma polinizadora eficiente de pimentão em casa de vegetação.

  9. 78 FR 10167 - Pollinator Summit: Status of Ongoing Collaborative Efforts To Protect Pollinators; Notice of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-13

    ... AGENCY Pollinator Summit: Status of Ongoing Collaborative Efforts To Protect Pollinators; Notice of... during coming and future growing seasons. This meeting complements EPA's ongoing work through the... techniques associated with commercial agriculture and bees. This summit complements EPA's on-going work...

  10. Niche partitioning due to adaptive foraging reverses effects of nestedness and connectance on pollination network stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdovinos, Fernanda S; Brosi, Berry J; Briggs, Heather M; Moisset de Espanés, Pablo; Ramos-Jiliberto, Rodrigo; Martinez, Neo D

    2016-10-01

    Much research debates whether properties of ecological networks such as nestedness and connectance stabilise biological communities while ignoring key behavioural aspects of organisms within these networks. Here, we computationally assess how adaptive foraging (AF) behaviour interacts with network architecture to determine the stability of plant-pollinator networks. We find that AF reverses negative effects of nestedness and positive effects of connectance on the stability of the networks by partitioning the niches among species within guilds. This behaviour enables generalist pollinators to preferentially forage on the most specialised of their plant partners which increases the pollination services to specialist plants and cedes the resources of generalist plants to specialist pollinators. We corroborate these behavioural preferences with intensive field observations of bee foraging. Our results show that incorporating key organismal behaviours with well-known biological mechanisms such as consumer-resource interactions into the analysis of ecological networks may greatly improve our understanding of complex ecosystems. PMID:27600659

  11. Imidacloprid-induced impairment of mushroom bodies and behavior of the native stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomé, Hudson Vaner V; Martins, Gustavo F; Lima, Maria Augusta P; Campos, Lúcio Antonio O; Guedes, Raul Narciso C

    2012-01-01

    Declines in pollinator colonies represent a worldwide concern. The widespread use of agricultural pesticides is recognized as a potential cause of these declines. Previous studies have examined the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides such as imidacloprid on pollinator colonies, but these investigations have mainly focused on adult honey bees. Native stingless bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Meliponinae) are key pollinators in neotropical areas and are threatened with extinction due to deforestation and pesticide use. Few studies have directly investigated the effects of pesticides on these pollinators. Furthermore, the existing impact studies did not address the issue of larval ingestion of contaminated pollen and nectar, which could potentially have dire consequences for the colony. Here, we assessed the effects of imidacloprid ingestion by stingless bee larvae on their survival, development, neuromorphology and adult walking behavior. Increasing doses of imidacloprid were added to the diet provided to individual worker larvae of the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides throughout their development. Survival rates above 50% were only observed at insecticide doses lower than 0.0056 µg active ingredient (a.i.)/bee. No sublethal effect on body mass or developmental time was observed in the surviving insects, but the pesticide treatment negatively affected the development of mushroom bodies in the brain and impaired the walking behavior of newly emerged adult workers. Therefore, stingless bee larvae are particularly susceptible to imidacloprid, as it caused both high mortality and sublethal effects that impaired brain development and compromised mobility at the young adult stage. These findings demonstrate the lethal effects of imidacloprid on native stingless bees and provide evidence of novel serious sublethal effects that may compromise colony survival. The ecological and economic importance of neotropical stingless bees as pollinators, their

  12. Imidacloprid-Induced Impairment of Mushroom Bodies and Behavior of the Native Stingless Bee Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomé, Hudson Vaner V.; Martins, Gustavo F.; Lima, Maria Augusta P.; Campos, Lúcio Antonio O.; Guedes, Raul Narciso C.

    2012-01-01

    Declines in pollinator colonies represent a worldwide concern. The widespread use of agricultural pesticides is recognized as a potential cause of these declines. Previous studies have examined the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides such as imidacloprid on pollinator colonies, but these investigations have mainly focused on adult honey bees. Native stingless bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Meliponinae) are key pollinators in neotropical areas and are threatened with extinction due to deforestation and pesticide use. Few studies have directly investigated the effects of pesticides on these pollinators. Furthermore, the existing impact studies did not address the issue of larval ingestion of contaminated pollen and nectar, which could potentially have dire consequences for the colony. Here, we assessed the effects of imidacloprid ingestion by stingless bee larvae on their survival, development, neuromorphology and adult walking behavior. Increasing doses of imidacloprid were added to the diet provided to individual worker larvae of the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides throughout their development. Survival rates above 50% were only observed at insecticide doses lower than 0.0056 µg active ingredient (a.i.)/bee. No sublethal effect on body mass or developmental time was observed in the surviving insects, but the pesticide treatment negatively affected the development of mushroom bodies in the brain and impaired the walking behavior of newly emerged adult workers. Therefore, stingless bee larvae are particularly susceptible to imidacloprid, as it caused both high mortality and sublethal effects that impaired brain development and compromised mobility at the young adult stage. These findings demonstrate the lethal effects of imidacloprid on native stingless bees and provide evidence of novel serious sublethal effects that may compromise colony survival. The ecological and economic importance of neotropical stingless bees as pollinators, their

  13. Bee species diversity enhances productivity and stability in a perennial crop.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shelley R Rogers

    Full Text Available Wild bees provide important pollination services to agroecoystems, but the mechanisms which underlie their contribution to ecosystem functioning--and, therefore, their importance in maintaining and enhancing these services-remain unclear. We evaluated several mechanisms through which wild bees contribute to crop productivity, the stability of pollinator visitation, and the efficiency of individual pollinators in a highly bee-pollination dependent plant, highbush blueberry. We surveyed the bee community (through transect sampling and pan trapping and measured pollination of both open- and singly-visited flowers. We found that the abundance of managed honey bees, Apis mellifera, and wild-bee richness were equally important in describing resulting open pollination. Wild-bee richness was a better predictor of pollination than wild-bee abundance. We also found evidence suggesting pollinator visitation (and subsequent pollination are stabilized through the differential response of bee taxa to weather (i.e., response diversity. Variation in the individual visit efficiency of A. mellifera and the southeastern blueberry bee, Habropoda laboriosa, a wild specialist, was not associated with changes in the pollinator community. Our findings add to a growing literature that diverse pollinator communities provide more stable and productive ecosystem services.

  14. Use of Radioactive Gold, 198AU, to Study the Radius of Action of Colonies of Bumble-Bees (Bombus Sp.) with a View to Pollination of Cultivated Plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    It is generally very easy to label a colony with a radioisotope, taking advantage of the constant exchange of food between individuals. Bumble-bees, although living in a colony, do not engage in direct exchange, but it has been shown that continual transfer takes place through the honey cells (secondary trophallaxia). In these conditions a bumble-bee colony can be labelled as easily as a hive of bees. Gold-198 was successfully used for the tests, which enabled us to obtain important and unpublished information on the behaviour of workers in bumble-bee colonies situated close to fields of leguminous crops, with a view to enhancing grain production. Questions that have been investigated by this method include the time required to become familiarized to a new site, fixation on a particular species of plant, the radius of action and the determinate character of the flight paths and the honey-gathering sectors. (author)

  15. Honey bees and bumble bees respond differently to inter- and intra-specific encounters

    OpenAIRE

    Rogers, Shelley; Cajamarca, Peter; Tarpy, David; Burrack, Hannah

    2013-01-01

    Multiple bee species may forage simultaneously at a common resource. Physical encounters among these bees may modify their subsequent foraging behavior and shape pollinator distribution and resource utilization in a plant community. We observed physical encounters between honey bees, Apis mellifera, and bumble bees, Bombus impatiens, visiting artificial plants in a controlled foraging arena. Both species were more likely to leave the plant following an encounter with another bee, but differed...

  16. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) drones survive oxidative stress due to increased tolerance instead of avoidance or repair of oxidative damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li-Byarlay, Hongmei; Huang, Ming Hua; Simone-Finstrom, Michael; Strand, Micheline K; Tarpy, David R; Rueppell, Olav

    2016-10-01

    Oxidative stress can lead to premature aging symptoms and cause acute mortality at higher doses in a range of organisms. Oxidative stress resistance and longevity are mechanistically and phenotypically linked; considerable variation in oxidative stress resistance exists among and within species and typically covaries with life expectancy. However, it is unclear whether stress-resistant, long-lived individuals avoid, repair, or tolerate molecular damage to survive longer than others. The honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) is an emerging model system that is well-suited to address this question. Furthermore, this species is the most economically important pollinator, whose health may be compromised by pesticide exposure, including oxidative stressors. Here, we develop a protocol for inducing oxidative stress in honey bee males (drones) via Paraquat injection. After injection, individuals from different colony sources were kept in common social conditions to monitor their survival compared to saline-injected controls. Oxidative stress was measured in susceptible and resistant individuals. Paraquat drastically reduced survival but individuals varied in their resistance to treatment within and among colony sources. Longer-lived individuals exhibited higher levels of lipid peroxidation than individuals dying early. In contrast, the level of protein carbonylation was not significantly different between the two groups. This first study of oxidative stress in male honey bees suggests that survival of an acute oxidative stressor is due to tolerance, not prevention or repair, of oxidative damage to lipids. It also demonstrates colony differences in oxidative stress resistance that might be useful for breeding stress-resistant honey bees. PMID:27422326

  17. Apple Pollination: Demand Depends on Variety and Supply Depends on Pollinator Identity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garratt, M. P. D.; Breeze, T. D.; Boreux, V.; Coston, D. J.; Jenner, N.; Dean, R.; Westbury, D. B.; Biesmeijer, J. C.; Potts, S. G.

    2016-01-01

    Insect pollination underpins apple production but the extent to which different pollinator guilds supply this service, particularly across different apple varieties, is unknown. Such information is essential if appropriate orchard management practices are to be targeted and proportional to the potential benefits pollinator species may provide. Here we use a novel combination of pollinator effectiveness assays (floral visit effectiveness), orchard field surveys (flower visitation rate) and pollinator dependence manipulations (pollinator exclusion experiments) to quantify the supply of pollination services provided by four different pollinator guilds to the production of four commercial varieties of apple. We show that not all pollinators are equally effective at pollinating apples, with hoverflies being less effective than solitary bees and bumblebees, and the relative abundance of different pollinator guilds visiting apple flowers of different varieties varies significantly. Based on this, the taxa specific economic benefits to UK apple production have been established. The contribution of insect pollinators to the economic output in all varieties was estimated to be £92.1M across the UK, with contributions varying widely across taxa: solitary bees (£51.4M), honeybees (£21.4M), bumblebees (£18.6M) and hoverflies (£0.7M). This research highlights the differences in the economic benefits of four insect pollinator guilds to four major apple varieties in the UK. This information is essential to underpin appropriate investment in pollination services management and provides a model that can be used in other entomolophilous crops to improve our understanding of crop pollination ecology. PMID:27152628

  18. Apple Pollination: Demand Depends on Variety and Supply Depends on Pollinator Identity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garratt, M P D; Breeze, T D; Boreux, V; Fountain, M T; McKerchar, M; Webber, S M; Coston, D J; Jenner, N; Dean, R; Westbury, D B; Biesmeijer, J C; Potts, S G

    2016-01-01

    Insect pollination underpins apple production but the extent to which different pollinator guilds supply this service, particularly across different apple varieties, is unknown. Such information is essential if appropriate orchard management practices are to be targeted and proportional to the potential benefits pollinator species may provide. Here we use a novel combination of pollinator effectiveness assays (floral visit effectiveness), orchard field surveys (flower visitation rate) and pollinator dependence manipulations (pollinator exclusion experiments) to quantify the supply of pollination services provided by four different pollinator guilds to the production of four commercial varieties of apple. We show that not all pollinators are equally effective at pollinating apples, with hoverflies being less effective than solitary bees and bumblebees, and the relative abundance of different pollinator guilds visiting apple flowers of different varieties varies significantly. Based on this, the taxa specific economic benefits to UK apple production have been established. The contribution of insect pollinators to the economic output in all varieties was estimated to be £92.1M across the UK, with contributions varying widely across taxa: solitary bees (£51.4M), honeybees (£21.4M), bumblebees (£18.6M) and hoverflies (£0.7M). This research highlights the differences in the economic benefits of four insect pollinator guilds to four major apple varieties in the UK. This information is essential to underpin appropriate investment in pollination services management and provides a model that can be used in other entomolophilous crops to improve our understanding of crop pollination ecology. PMID:27152628

  19. Parasite infection accelerates age polyethism in young honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecocq, Antoine; Jensen, Annette Bruun; Kryger, Per; Nieh, James C

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are important pollinators and their health is threatened worldwide by persistent exposure to a wide range of factors including pesticides, poor nutrition, and pathogens. Nosema ceranae is a ubiquitous microsporidian associated with high colony mortality. We used lab micro-colonies of honey bees and video analyses to track the effects of N. ceranae infection and exposure on a range of individual and social behaviours in young adult bees. We provide detailed data showing that N. ceranae infection significantly accelerated the age polyethism of young bees, causing them to exhibit behaviours typical of older bees. Bees with high N. ceranae spore counts had significantly increased walking rates and decreased attraction to queen mandibular pheromone. Infected bees also exhibited higher rates of trophallaxis (food exchange), potentially reflecting parasite manipulation to increase colony infection. However, reduction in queen contacts could help bees limit the spread of infection. Such accelerated age polyethism may provide a form of behavioural immunity, particularly if it is elicited by a wide variety of pathogens. PMID:26912310

  20. Hand pollination to increase seed-set of red helleborine Cephalanthera rubra in the Chiltern Hills, Buckinghamshire, England

    OpenAIRE

    Newman, R. D.; Showler, A. J.; Harvey, M. C.; Showler, D. A.

    2007-01-01

    In 2007 and in previous years, as part of ongoing attempts to improve red helleborine Cephalanthera rubra seed-set, hand pollination of florets has been undertaken at a small colony of this species in Buckinghamshire, southern England. Natural pollination rarely occurs (one mature pod recorded in 10 years) at this site. In 2007, hand pollination resulted in the production of four seed pods, of which one withered and died. Upon ripening, the three remaining pods were removed for attempted micr...

  1. Patterns of range-wide genetic variation in six North American bumble bee (Apidae: Bombus) species

    Science.gov (United States)

    The increasing evidence for population declines in bumble bee (Bombus) species worldwide has accelerated research efforts to explain losses in these important native pollinators. In North America, a number of once widespread Bombus species have suffered serious reductions in range and abundance, alt...

  2. Pollination of Greenhouse Tomatoes by the Mexican bumblebee Bombus ephippiatus (Hymenoptera: Apidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Hernan Vergara

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The Mexican native bumblebee Bombus ephippiatus Say was evaluated as a potential pollinator of greenhouse tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicon L.. The experiments were performed at San Andrés Cholula, Puebla, Mexico, from June to December 2004 in two 1 000 m2 greenhouses planted with tomatoes of the cultivar Mallory (Hazera ®. For the experiments, we used two colonies of Bombus ephippiatus, reared in the laboratory from queens captured in the field. Four treatments were applied to 20 study plants: pollination by bumble bees, manual pollination, pollination by mechanical vibration and no pollination (bagged flowers, no vibration. We measured percentage of flowers visited by bumble bees, number of seeds per fruit, maturing time, sugar content, fruit weight and fruit shape. All available flowers were visited by bumblebees, as measured by the degree of anther cone bruising. The number of seeds per fruit was higher for bumble bee-pollinated plants as compared with plants pollinated mechanically or not pollinated and was not significantly different between hand-pollinated and bumble bee-pollinated plants. Maturation time was significantly longer and sugar content, fresh weight and seed count were significantly higher for bumblebee pollinated flowers than for flowers pollinated manually or with no supplemental pollination, but did not differ with flowers pollinated mechanically.

  3. Constructing a Species Database and Historic Range Maps for North American Bumble Bees (Bombus sensu stricto Latreille) to Inform Conservation Decisions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bumble bees (Bombus Latrielle) are some of the most important native pollinators in North America, pollinating both wild flowers and agricultural crops often where other pollinators such as honey bees are absent. In the last decade at least six North American species of bumble bees (Bombus Latreill...

  4. Pollination, seed set and fruit quality in apple: studies with Osmia lignaria (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cory Silas Sheffield

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The orchard crop pollinator Osmia lignaria (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae was evaluated for apple pollination in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada during 2000-2001. Resulting pollination levels (measured as pollen grains on floral stigmas, percent fruit set, mature fruit weight and seed yield were evaluated against an attempted gradient of Osmia bee density. In addition, fruit quality was assessed using two symmetry indices, one based on fruit diameter, the second on fruit height. Pollination levels, percent fruit set and mature fruit quality were much higher than minimums required for adequate crop production, and all but pollination levels showed weak but significant decreases at increased distance from the established nests, suggesting that even at low numbers these bees may have been making significant contributions to apple production. Fruit were typically of better quality in areas of the orchard adjacent to Osmia nests, having fewer empty carpels and greater symmetry; fruit quality (i.e., symmetry is typically most reduced when two or more adjacent carpels are empty. Empty carpels reduce growth in fruit height rather than diameter, suggesting that symmetry indices using fruit diameter are not sensitive enough to evaluate fruit quality. Evidencing this, fruit without mature seeds observed in this study showed high symmetry based on diameter, but were greatly asymmetric with respect to fruit height. Further discussion on Osmia bees as apple pollinators and on methods of evaluating apple fruit quality with respect to seed distribution within the apple fruit are provided.

  5. Variations in pollinator density and impacts on large cardamom (Amomum subulatum Roxb. crop yield in Sikkim Himalaya, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kailash S. Gaira

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Large cardamom (Amomum subulatum Roxb., a perennial cash crop, cultivated under an agroforestry system in the eastern Himalaya of India, is well recognized as a pollination-dependent crop. Observations on pollinator abundance in Mamlay watershed of Sikkim Himalaya were collected during the blooming season to evaluate the pollinator abundance across sites and time frames, and impact of pollinator abundance on crop yield from 2010 to 2012. The results revealed that the bumblebees and honeybees are most frequent visitors of large cardamom flowers. The abundance of honeybees, however, varied between sites for the years 2010–2012, while that of bumblebees varied for the years 2011 and 2012. The abundance of honeybees resulted in a variation within time frames for 2010 and 2011, while that of bumblebees varied for 2010 and 2012 (p<0.01. The density of pollinators correlated positively with the number of flowers of the target crop. The impact of pollinator abundance revealed that the increasing bumblebee visitation resulted in a higher yield of the crop (i.e. 17–41 g/plant and the increasing abundance of all bees (21–41 g/plant was significant (p<0.03. Therefore, the study concluded that the large cardamom yield is sensitive to pollinator abundance and there is a need for adopting the best pollinator conservation and management practices toward sustaining the yield of large cardamom.

  6. A fluorescent method for visualization of Nosema infection in whole-mount honey bee tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snow, Jonathan W

    2016-03-01

    Honey bees are critical pollinators in both agricultural and ecological settings. The Nosema species, ceranae and apis, are microsporidian parasites that are pathogenic to honey bees. While current methods for detecting Nosema infection have key merits, additional techniques with novel properties for studying the cell biology of Nosema infection are highly desirable. We demonstrate that whole-mount staining of honey bee midgut tissue with chitin-binding agent Fluorescent Brightener 28 and DNA dye Propidium Iodide allows for observation of Nosema infection in structurally intact tissue, providing a new tool for increasing our understanding of Nosema infection at the cellular and tissue level. PMID:26802732

  7. To Bee or Not to Be : Critical Floral Resources of Wild-Bees

    OpenAIRE

    Larsson, Magnus

    2006-01-01

    In recent decades, the development of strategies to prevent or slow the loss of biodiversity has become an important task for ecologists. In most terrestrial ecosystems wild-bees play a key role as pollinators of herbs, shrubs and trees. The scope of this thesis was to study 1) pollinator effectiveness of specialist bees vs. generalist flower-visitors, 2) critical floral resources for wild-bees, and 3) methods to estimate the size of wild-bee populations. The wild-bee species Andrena hattorfi...

  8. Foraging responses of bumble bees to rewardless floral patches: importance of within-plant variance in nectar presentation

    OpenAIRE

    Nakamura, Shoko; Kudo, Gaku

    2016-01-01

    Nectar foraging pollinators flexibly respond to the reward condition of floral patches. To evaluate the effects of unrewarding experience, we compared foraging behaviours of bumble bees between naturally rewarding and artificially rewardless (i.e., nectary removed) patches in aconite populations. Bees increased movements between inflorescences instead of leaving the patches when they faced rewardless flowers. Because the nectar reward was highly variable among flowers within plants in the aco...

  9. Neonicotinoid pesticide exposure impairs crop pollination services provided by bumblebees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley, Dara A.; Garratt, Michael P. D.; Wickens, Jennifer B.; Wickens, Victoria J.; Potts, Simon G.; Raine, Nigel E.

    2015-12-01

    Recent concern over global pollinator declines has led to considerable research on the effects of pesticides on bees. Although pesticides are typically not encountered at lethal levels in the field, there is growing evidence indicating that exposure to field-realistic levels can have sublethal effects on bees, affecting their foraging behaviour, homing ability and reproductive success. Bees are essential for the pollination of a wide variety of crops and the majority of wild flowering plants, but until now research on pesticide effects has been limited to direct effects on bees themselves and not on the pollination services they provide. Here we show the first evidence to our knowledge that pesticide exposure can reduce the pollination services bumblebees deliver to apples, a crop of global economic importance. Bumblebee colonies exposed to a neonicotinoid pesticide provided lower visitation rates to apple trees and collected pollen less often. Most importantly, these pesticide-exposed colonies produced apples containing fewer seeds, demonstrating a reduced delivery of pollination services. Our results also indicate that reduced pollination service delivery is not due to pesticide-induced changes in individual bee behaviour, but most likely due to effects at the colony level. These findings show that pesticide exposure can impair the ability of bees to provide pollination services, with important implications for both the sustained delivery of stable crop yields and the functioning of natural ecosystems.

  10. Honey Bee Venom (Apis mellifera Contains Anticoagulation Factors and Increases the Blood-clotting Time

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hossein Zolfagharian

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: Bee venom (BV is a complex mixture of proteins and contains proteins such as phospholipase and melittin, which have an effect on blood clotting and blood clots. The mechanism of action of honey bee venom (HBV, Apis mellifera on human plasma proteins and its anti-thrombotic effect were studied. The purpose of this study was to investigate the anti-coagulation effect of BV and its effects on blood coagulation and purification. Methods: Crude venom obtained from Apis mellifera was selected. The anti-coagulation factor of the crude venom from this species was purified by using gel filtration chromatography (sephadex G-50, and the molecular weights of the anti-coagulants in this venom estimated by using sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE. Blood samples were obtained from 10 rabbits, and the prothrombin time (PT and the partial thromboplastin time (PTT tests were conducted. The approximate lethal dose (LD values of BV were determined. Results: Crude BV increased the blood clotting time. For BV concentrations from 1 to 4 mg/mL, clotting was not observed even at more than 300 seconds, standard deviations (SDs = ± 0.71; however, clotting was observed in the control group 13.8 s, SDs = ± 0.52. Thus, BV can be considered as containing anti-coagulation factors. Crude BV is composed 4 protein bands with molecular weights of 3, 15, 20 and 41 kilodalton (kDa, respectively. The LD50 of the crude BV was found to be 177.8 μg/mouse. Conclusion: BV contains anti-coagulation factors. The fraction extracted from the Iranian bees contains proteins that are similar to anti-coagulation proteins, such as phospholipase A2 (PLA2 and melittin, and that can increase the blood clotting times in vitro.

  11. Interactive effects of large- and small-scale sources of feral honey-bees for sunflower in the Argentine Pampas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agustín Sáez

    Full Text Available Pollinators for animal pollinated crops can be provided by natural and semi-natural habitats, ranging from large vegetation remnants to small areas of non-crop land in an otherwise highly modified landscape. It is unknown, however, how different small- and large-scale habitat patches interact as pollinator sources. In the intensively managed Argentine Pampas, we studied the additive and interactive effects of large expanses (up to 2200 ha of natural habitat, represented by untilled isolated "sierras", and narrow (3-7 m wide strips of semi-natural habitat, represented by field margins, as pollinator sources for sunflower (Helianthus annus. We estimated visitation rates by feral honey-bees, Apis mellifera, and native flower visitors (as a group at 1, 5, 25, 50 and 100 m from a field margin in 17 sunflower fields 0-10 km distant from the nearest sierra. Honey-bees dominated the pollinator assemblage accounting for >90% of all visits to sunflower inflorescences. Honey-bee visitation was strongly affected by proximity to the sierras decreasing by about 70% in the most isolated fields. There was also a decline in honey-bee visitation with distance from the field margin, which was apparent with increasing field isolation, but undetected in fields nearby large expanses of natural habitat. The probability of observing a native visitor decreased with isolation from the sierras, but in other respects visitation by flower visitors other than honey-bees was mostly unaffected by the habitat factors assessed in this study. Overall, we found strong hierarchical and interactive effects between the study large and small-scale pollinator sources. These results emphasize the importance of preserving natural habitats and managing actively field verges in the absence of large remnants of natural habitat for improving pollinator services.

  12. Modeling Honey Bee Populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David J Torres

    Full Text Available Eusocial honey bee populations (Apis mellifera employ an age stratification organization of egg, larvae, pupae, hive bees and foraging bees. Understanding the recent decline in honey bee colonies hinges on understanding the factors that impact each of these different age castes. We first perform an analysis of steady state bee populations given mortality rates within each bee caste and find that the honey bee colony is highly susceptible to hive and pupae mortality rates. Subsequently, we study transient bee population dynamics by building upon the modeling foundation established by Schmickl and Crailsheim and Khoury et al. Our transient model based on differential equations accounts for the effects of pheromones in slowing the maturation of hive bees to foraging bees, the increased mortality of larvae in the absence of sufficient hive bees, and the effects of food scarcity. We also conduct sensitivity studies and show the effects of parameter variations on the colony population.

  13. Impacts of Austrian Climate Variability on Honey Bee Mortality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Switanek, Matt; Brodschneider, Robert; Crailsheim, Karl; Truhetz, Heimo

    2015-04-01

    Global food production, as it is today, is not possible without pollinators such as the honey bee. It is therefore alarming that honey bee populations across the world have seen increased mortality rates in the last few decades. The challenges facing the honey bee calls into question the future of our food supply. Beside various infectious diseases, Varroa destructor is one of the main culprits leading to increased rates of honey bee mortality. Varroa destructor is a parasitic mite which strongly depends on honey bee brood for reproduction and can wipe out entire colonies. However, climate variability may also importantly influence honey bee breeding cycles and bee mortality rates. Persistent weather events affects vegetation and hence foraging possibilities for honey bees. This study first defines critical statistical relationships between key climate indicators (e.g., precipitation and temperature) and bee mortality rates across Austria, using 6 consecutive years of data. Next, these leading indicators, as they vary in space and time, are used to build a statistical model to predict bee mortality rates and the respective number of colonies affected. Using leave-one-out cross validation, the model reduces the Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) by 21% with respect to predictions made with the mean mortality rate and the number of colonies. Furthermore, a Monte Carlo test is used to establish that the model's predictions are statistically significant at the 99.9% confidence level. These results highlight the influence of climate variables on honey bee populations, although variability in climate, by itself, cannot fully explain colony losses. This study was funded by the Austrian project 'Zukunft Biene'.

  14. Viral diseases in honey bee queens

    OpenAIRE

    Francis, Roy Mathew

    2012-01-01

    Honey bees are one of the most important insects useful to human beings. They provide us with several biological products such as honey and wax, but more importantly carries out the invaluable laborious work of pollination. The honey bee industry in Europe and elsewhere has been plagued by recently introduced pests such as varroa mites and subsequent rise of viruses which has resulted in widespread decline of bee population. Of the numerous pathogens of honey bees that are being studied, viru...

  15. Targeted precision biocontrol and enhanced pollination

    OpenAIRE

    Hokkanen, Heikki; Boecking, Otto; Cokl, Andrej; Cotes, Belen; Eken, Cafer; Karise, Reet; Krajl, Jasna; Maccagnani, Bettina; Menzler-Hokkanen, Ingeborg; Mommaerts, Veerle; Mänd, Marika; Smagghe, Guy; Söderlund, Niklas; Tuncer, Serdar; Veromann, Eve

    2012-01-01

    BICOPOLL and BICOPOLL-NET connect 12 research units from 10 European countries and autonomous regions into a concerted effort to develop and bring into practice improved methods of biocontrol and pollination services, using strawberry as the case study. BICOPOLL partners will use bees to (i) precision deliver biocontrol agents to the flowers of the target crops to provide control of diseases, (ii) improve the pollination of horticultural crops.

  16. Macroecology of pollination networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Kristian Trøjelsgaard; Olesen, Jens Mogens

    2013-01-01

    this latitudinal diversity gradient scales up to entities as complex as networks is unknown.We investigated this using a dataset of 54 community-wide pollination networks and hypothesized that pollination networks would display a latitudinal and altitudinal species richness gradient, increasing...... specialization towards the tropics, and that network topology would be affected by current climate. Location Global. Methods Each network was organized as a presence/absence matrix, consisting of P plant species, A pollinator species and their links. From these matrices, network parameters were estimated...... strongly with either latitude or elevation. However, network modularity decreased significantly with latitude whereas mean number of links per plant species (Lp) and A/P ratio peaked at mid-latitude. Above 500 m a.s.l., A/P ratio decreased and mean number of links per pollinator species (La) increased with...

  17. Modelling food and population dynamics in honey bee colonies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David S Khoury

    Full Text Available Honey bees (Apis mellifera are increasingly in demand as pollinators for various key agricultural food crops, but globally honey bee populations are in decline, and honey bee colony failure rates have increased. This scenario highlights a need to understand the conditions in which colonies flourish and in which colonies fail. To aid this investigation we present a compartment model of bee population dynamics to explore how food availability and bee death rates interact to determine colony growth and development. Our model uses simple differential equations to represent the transitions of eggs laid by the queen to brood, then hive bees and finally forager bees, and the process of social inhibition that regulates the rate at which hive bees begin to forage. We assume that food availability can influence both the number of brood successfully reared to adulthood and the rate at which bees transition from hive duties to foraging. The model predicts complex interactions between food availability and forager death rates in shaping colony fate. Low death rates and high food availability results in stable bee populations at equilibrium (with population size strongly determined by forager death rate but consistently increasing food reserves. At higher death rates food stores in a colony settle at a finite equilibrium reflecting the balance of food collection and food use. When forager death rates exceed a critical threshold the colony fails but residual food remains. Our model presents a simple mathematical framework for exploring the interactions of food and forager mortality on colony fate, and provides the mathematical basis for more involved simulation models of hive performance.

  18. Ozone Differentially Affects Perception of Plant Volatiles in Western Honey Bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dötterl, Stefan; Vater, Marina; Rupp, Thomas; Held, Andreas

    2016-06-01

    Floral scents play a key role in mediating plant-pollinator interactions. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by flowers are used by flower visitors as olfactory cues to locate flowers, both from a distance and at close range. More recently it has been demonstrated that reactive molecules such as ozone can modify or degrade VOCs, and this may impair the communication between plants and their pollinators. However, it is not known whether such reactive molecules also may affect the olfactory system of pollinators, and thus not only influence signal transmission but perception of the signal. In this study, we used electroantennographic measurements to determine the effect of increased levels of ozone on antennal responses in western honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). Linalool and 2-phenylethanol, both known to be involved in location of flowers by the bees, and (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, a widespread green leaf volatile also detected by bees, were used. The results showed that ozone affected antennal responses to the different substances differently. Ozone decreased antennal responses to (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, whereas responses to linalool and 2-phenylethanol were not influenced by ozone. Overall, the study does not provide evidence that pollination by honey bees is impaired by damage in the olfactory system of the bees caused by increased levels of ozone, at least when linalool and 2-phenylethanol are the attractive signals. However, the results also suggest that ozone can change the overall perception of an odor blend. This might have negative effects in pollination systems and other organismic interactions mediated by specific ratios of compounds. PMID:27344162

  19. Do managed bees drive parasite spread and emergence in wild bees?

    OpenAIRE

    Graystock, Peter; Blane, Edward J; McFrederick, Quinn S.; Goulson, Dave; Hughes, William O. H.

    2015-01-01

    Bees have been managed and utilised for honey production for centuries and, more recently, pollination services. Since the mid 20th Century, the use and production of managed bees has intensified with hundreds of thousands of hives being moved across countries and around the globe on an annual basis. However, the introduction of unnaturally high densities of bees to areas could have adverse effects. Importation and deployment of managed honey bee and bumblebees may be responsible for parasite...

  20. Are bee diseases linked to pesticides? - A brief review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Bayo, Francisco; Goulson, Dave; Pennacchio, Francesco; Nazzi, Francesco; Goka, Koichi; Desneux, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    The negative impacts of pesticides, in particular insecticides, on bees and other pollinators have never been disputed. Insecticides can directly kill these vital insects, whereas herbicides reduce the diversity of their food resources, thus indirectly affecting their survival and reproduction. At sub-lethal level (insecticide molecules are known to influence the cognitive abilities of bees, impairing their performance and ultimately impacting on the viability of the colonies. In addition, widespread systemic insecticides appear to have introduced indirect side effects on both honey bees and wild bumblebees, by deeply affecting their health. Immune suppression of the natural defences by neonicotinoid and phenyl-pyrazole (fipronil) insecticides opens the way to parasite infections and viral diseases, fostering their spread among individuals and among bee colonies at higher rates than under conditions of no exposure to such insecticides. This causal link between diseases and/or parasites in bees and neonicotinoids and other pesticides has eluded researchers for years because both factors are concurrent: while the former are the immediate cause of colony collapses and bee declines, the latter are a key factor contributing to the increasing negative impact of parasitic infections observed in bees in recent decades. PMID:26826357

  1. Bird pollination of Canary Island endemic plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ollerton, Jeff; Cranmer, Louise; Stelzer, Ralph J.; Sullivan, Steve; Chittka, Lars

    2009-02-01

    The Canary Islands are home to a guild of endemic, threatened bird-pollinated plants. Previous work has suggested that these plants evolved floral traits as adaptations to pollination by flower specialist sunbirds, but subsequently, they appear to have co-opted generalist passerine birds as sub-optimal pollinators. To test this idea, we carried out a quantitative study of the pollination biology of three of the bird-pollinated plants, Canarina canariensis (Campanulaceae), Isoplexis canariensis (Veronicaceae) and Lotus berthelotii (Fabaceae), on the island of Tenerife. Using colour vision models, we predicted the detectability of flowers to bird and bee pollinators. We measured pollinator visitation rates, nectar standing crops as well as seed-set and pollen removal and deposition. These data showed that the plants are effectively pollinated by non-flower specialist passerine birds that only occasionally visit flowers. The large nectar standing crops and extended flower longevities (>10 days) of Canarina and Isoplexis suggests that they have evolved a bird pollination system that effectively exploits these low frequency non-specialist pollen vectors and is in no way sub-optimal. Seed set in two of the three species was high and was significantly reduced or zero in flowers where pollinator access was restricted. In L. berthelotii, however, no fruit set was observed, probably because the plants were self-incompatible horticultural clones of a single genet. We also show that, while all three species are easily detectable for birds, the orange Canarina and the red Lotus (but less so the yellow-orange Isoplexis) should be difficult to detect for insect pollinators without specialised red receptors, such as bumblebees. Contrary to expectations if we accept that the flowers are primarily adapted to sunbird pollination, the chiffchaff ( Phylloscopus canariensis) was an effective pollinator of these species.

  2. Floral scent and pollinators of the holoparasite Pilostyles thurberi (Apodanthaceae)

    OpenAIRE

    Sipes, Sedonia D.; Kara E. Huff Hartz; Hardik Amin; Nickrent, Daniel L.

    2014-01-01

    Floral scent is likely important to the pollination of parasitic plants, despite that it has not been well-studied. We studied the pollination ecology of the North American stem holoparasite Pilostyles thurberi (Apodanthaceae) at two field sites in Texas. To identify effective pollinators, we collected floral visitors to P. thurberi flowers, observed their foraging behavior, and looked for P. thurberi pollen on their bodies. Augochloropsis metallica bees (Halictidae) and eumenine potter wasps...

  3. Pollination services provided by wild insects to kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa)

    OpenAIRE

    Miñarro, Marcos; Twizell, Kent W.

    2015-01-01

    Managed bees are used to transfer pollen from male to female flowers in kiwifruit, but the contribution of wild insects has been long overlooked. We approached such contribution with multiple criteria (pollinator abundance, foraging behavior, pollinating efficiency, and response to weather conditions) in the absence of imported colonies. An abundant and rich community of pollinators (57 % were non-Apis insects) visited kiwifruit flowers and assured a fruit set and size not different from thos...

  4. Pollination of Polish red list plants: a preliminary statistical survey

    OpenAIRE

    Marcin Zych; Andrzej Jakubiec

    2012-01-01

    One of the important problems of modern conservation biology is the lack of reliable data on plant pollination systems, especially for taxa threatened with extinction. This paper is an attempt to collect and analyze the available literature data on pollination of Polish red list plants. The Polish red list includes 469 angiosperm taxa, over 53% of them are insect-pollinated and visited mostly by bees and flies, insects that are also declining in Europe. These numbers however are mainly based ...

  5. Effects of above- and belowground herbivory on growth, pollination, and reproduction in cucumber.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Nicholas A; Adler, Lynn S; Bernardo, Holly L

    2011-02-01

    Plants experience unique challenges due to simultaneous life in two spheres, above- and belowground. Interactions with other organisms on one side of the soil surface may have impacts that extend across this boundary. Although our understanding of plant-herbivore interactions is derived largely from studies of leaf herbivory, belowground root herbivores may affect plant fitness directly or by altering interactions with other organisms, such as pollinators. In this study, we investigated the effects of leaf herbivory, root herbivory, and pollination on plant growth, subsequent leaf herbivory, flower production, pollinator attraction, and reproduction in cucumber (Cucumis sativus). We manipulated leaf and root herbivory with striped cucumber beetle (Acalymma vittatum) adults and larvae, respectively, and manipulated pollination with supplemental pollen. Both enhanced leaf and root herbivory reduced plant growth, and leaf herbivory reduced subsequent leaf damage. Plants with enhanced root herbivory produced 35% fewer female flowers, while leaf herbivory had no effect on flower production. While leaf herbivory reduced the time that honey bees spent probing flowers by 29%, probing times on root-damaged plants were over twice as long as those on control plants. Root herbivory increased pollen limitation for seed production in spite of increased honey bee preference for plants with root damage. Leaf damage and hand-pollination treatments had no effect on fruit production, but plants with enhanced root damage produced 38% fewer fruits that were 25% lighter than those on control plants. Despite the positive effect of belowground damage on honey bee visitation, root herbivory had a stronger negative effect on plant reproduction than leaf herbivory. These results demonstrate that the often-overlooked effects of belowground herbivores may have profound effects on plant performance. PMID:20859750

  6. Assessing the comparative risk of plant protection products to honey bees, non-target arthropods and non-Apis bees

    OpenAIRE

    Miles, Mark J.; Alix, Anne

    2012-01-01

    Background: In the European Union the placing of pesticides on the market requires as a prerequisite that a risk assessment demonstrates low risks to human health and the environment, among which includes pollinators. Currently risks are evaluated for honey bees and for non-target arthropods (NTA) of cultivated ecosystems. The actual protection of pollinators other than the honey bees, as for example for non-Apis bees, in relation to these risk assessments has recently been questioned and req...

  7. Flowering dynamics and pollinator visitation of oilseed echium (Echium plantagineum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eberle, Carrie A; Forcella, Frank; Gesch, Russ; Weyers, Sharon; Peterson, Dean; Eklund, James

    2014-01-01

    Echium (Echium plantagineum L.) is an alternative oilseed crop in summer-wet temperate regions that provides floral resources to pollinators. Its seed oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as stearidonic acid, which is desired highly by the cosmetic industry. Seeds were sown in field plots over three years in western Minnesota in spring (early-sown) or early summer (late-sown), and flower abundance, pollinator visitation, and seed yields were studied. Initial flowering commenced 41 to 55 d after sowing, and anthesis duration (first flowering to harvest) was 34 to 70 d. Late sowing dates delayed anthesis, but increased the intensity of visitation by pollinators. Cumulative flower densities ranged from 1 to 4.5 billion ha-1. Flowers attracted numerous honey bees (Apis mellifera L.), as many as 35 per minute of observation, which represented about 50% of all insect visitors. Early-sown echium produced seed yields up to 750 kg ha-1, which were 2-29 times higher than those of late-sown echium. Early sowing of echium in Minnesota provides abundant floral resources for pollinators for up to two months and simultaneously produces seed yields whose profits rival those of corn (Zea mays L.). PMID:25427071

  8. Flowering dynamics and pollinator visitation of oilseed echium (Echium plantagineum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carrie A Eberle

    Full Text Available Echium (Echium plantagineum L. is an alternative oilseed crop in summer-wet temperate regions that provides floral resources to pollinators. Its seed oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as stearidonic acid, which is desired highly by the cosmetic industry. Seeds were sown in field plots over three years in western Minnesota in spring (early-sown or early summer (late-sown, and flower abundance, pollinator visitation, and seed yields were studied. Initial flowering commenced 41 to 55 d after sowing, and anthesis duration (first flowering to harvest was 34 to 70 d. Late sowing dates delayed anthesis, but increased the intensity of visitation by pollinators. Cumulative flower densities ranged from 1 to 4.5 billion ha-1. Flowers attracted numerous honey bees (Apis mellifera L., as many as 35 per minute of observation, which represented about 50% of all insect visitors. Early-sown echium produced seed yields up to 750 kg ha-1, which were 2-29 times higher than those of late-sown echium. Early sowing of echium in Minnesota provides abundant floral resources for pollinators for up to two months and simultaneously produces seed yields whose profits rival those of corn (Zea mays L..

  9. Pollinator biodiversity and floral resource use in Ecballium elaterium (Cucurbitaceae), a Mediterranean endemic

    OpenAIRE

    Rust, R.; Vaissière, B.E.; Westrich, P.

    2003-01-01

    International audience Pollinator biodiversity on Ecballium elaterium (L.) A. Richard was studied for 2 years at 2 sites in southern France. Six families, 15 genera, and 43 species of bees were collected from the flowers, and 33 bee species carried Ecballium pollen in their scopae. The numerically dominant species were Lasioglossum malachurum (Kirby), the honey bee, Apis mellifera L., and Ceratina cyanea (Kirby). Few pollinators were observed in 1997 due to a drought. In 1996, mean forager...

  10. Prolonged postdiapause: influence on some indicators of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism of the red mason bee, Osmia rufa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dmochowska, Kamila; Giejdasz, Karol; Fliszkiewicz, Monika; Zółtowska, Krystyna

    2013-01-01

    Bees of the genus Osmia are being used in crop pollination at an increasing rate. However, a short life expectancy of adult individuals limits the feasibility of their use. Cocoons of the red mason bee, Osmia rufa L. (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), can be stored at 4° C in a postdiapause state, and adult bees can be used for pollination outside their natural flight period. The period of storage in this form has an unfavorable influence on the survival rate, life expectancy, and fertility of the bee. It was suggested that the negative results are connected with exhaustion of energy reserves. To test this hypothesis, the present study examined the contents of protein, carbohydrates, lipids, and the activities of some enzymes, and their degradation in red mason bees that emerged in spring according to their biological clock and in summer after elongated diapause. It was found that postdiapause artificially elongated by 3 months caused significant decreases in body weight, total sugar, glycogen, lipids, and protein content in O. rufa. Glucose level was highest in bees that emerged in the summer, which was coincident with increased activities of maltase and trehalase. The activities of sucrase and cellobiase were not changed, while amylase activity was considerably decreased. The activities of triacylglycerols lipase and C2, C4, C10 carboxylesterases were highest in bees that emerged in July. Low temperatures restrict O. rufa emergence, and during prolonged postdiapause, metabolic processes lead to significant reductions of structural and energetic compounds. PMID:24219557

  11. Seasonal and annual variations in the pollination efficiency of a pollinator community of Dictamnus albus L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisogni, A; Rossi, M; Sgolastra, F; Bortolotti, L; Bogo, G; de Manincor, N; Quaranta, M; Galloni, M

    2016-05-01

    The interplay between insect and plant traits outlines the patterns of pollen transfer and the subsequent plant reproductive fitness. We studied the factors that affect the pollination efficiency of a pollinator community of Dictamnus albus L. by evaluating insect behaviour and morphological characteristics in relation to flowering phenology. In order to extrapolate the pollinator importance of single taxa and of the whole pollinator guild, we calculated an index distinguishing between potential (PPI) and realized (RPI) pollinator importance. Although the pollinator species spectrum appeared rather constant, we found high intra- and inter-annual variability of pollinator frequency and importance within the insect community. Flower visitation rate strictly depended on insect abundance and on the overlap between their flying period and flower blooming. All the pollinators visited flowers from the bottom to the top of the racemes, excluding intra-plant geitonogamous pollination, and most of them showed high pollen fidelity. Only medium large-sized bees could contact the upward bending stiles while feeding on nectar, highlighting a specialisation of the plant towards bigger pollinators. Moreover, we found evidence of functional specialisation, since all pollinators were restricted to a single taxonomic group (order: Hymenoptera; superfamily: Apoidea). Both the PPI and RPI indices indicate Habropoda tarsata as the most important pollinator of D. albus. Following hand cross-pollination experiments we revealed the presence of pollination limitation in 1 of the 3 years of field study. We discuss this result in relation to flowering abundance and to possible mismatches of phenological periods between plants and insects. PMID:26573095

  12. Creating and Evaluating Artificial Domiciles for Bumble Bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golick, Douglas A.; Ellis, Marion D.; Beecham, Brady

    2006-01-01

    Bumble bees are valuable pollinators of native and cultivated flora. Despite our knowledge of bumble bee nest site selection, most efforts to attract bumble bees to artificial domiciles have been met with limited success. Creating and evaluating artificial domiciles provides students an opportunity to investigate a real problem. In this lesson,…

  13. Native bees are a rich natural resource in urban California gardens

    OpenAIRE

    Gordon W. Frankie; Thorp, Robbin; Hernandez, Jennifer; Rizzardi, Mark; Ertter, Barbara; Pawelek, Jaime C.; Witt, Sara L.; Schindler, Mary; Coville, Rollin; Wojcik, Victoria

    2009-01-01

    Evidence is mounting that pollinators of crop and wildland plants are declining worldwide. Our research group at UC Berkeley and UC Davis conducted a 3-year survey of bee pollinators in seven cities from Northern California to Southern California. Results indicate that many types of urban residential gardens provide floral and nesting resources for the reproduction and survival of bees, especially a diversity of native bees. Habitat gardening for bees, using targeted ornamental plants, can pr...

  14. Honey Bee Venom (Apis mellifera) Contains Anticoagulation Factors and Increases the Blood-clotting Time

    OpenAIRE

    Hossein Zolfagharian; Mohammad Mohajeri; Mahdi Babaie

    2015-01-01

    Objectives: Bee venom (BV) is a complex mixture of proteins and contains proteins such as phospholipase and melittin, which have an effect on blood clotting and blood clots. The mechanism of action of honey bee venom (HBV, Apis mellifera) on human plasma proteins and its anti-thrombotic effect were studied. The purpose of this study was to investigate the anti-coagulation effect of BV and its effects on blood coagulation and purification. Methods: Crude venom obtained from Apis mellifera was ...

  15. Pollination Ecology of Caesalpinia crista (Leguminosae: Caesalpinioideae)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIShi-Jint; ZHANGDian-Xiang; LILin; CHENZhong-Yi

    2004-01-01

    The flowering phenology, pollination ecology and breeding system of Caesa/pinia crista L.were studied in Dinghushan Nature Reserve, Guangdong, China. The species started blooming in Februaryor March, then last till late April. It took about one week from first flower appearance to its full blooming,which lasted for 2-4 d. The pollen-ovule ratio was 18 000~500. The breeding system was self-incompatible,and protogynous xenogamy. Hymenoptera constituted the major group of pollinators. The pollination typeis ambophily, the species could be pollinated by wind if the pollinators were unavailable: this is the firstrecord of ambophily in the genus Caesalpinia. The floral structure adaptation to the pollinating behavior ofcarpenter bees was described. The influences of artificial treatments in pollination biological studies onthe flowering and fruiting of the plants were also discussed.

  16. Detecting insect pollinator declines on regional and global scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lubuhn, Gretchen; Droege, Sam; Connor, Edward F.; Gemmill-Herren, Barbara; Potts, Simon G.; Minckley, Robert L.; Griswold, Terry; Jean, Robert; Kula, Emanuel; Roubik, David W.; Cane, Jim; Wright, Karen W.; Frankie, Gordon; Parker, Frank

    2013-01-01

    Recently there has been considerable concern about declines in bee communities in agricultural and natural habitats. The value of pollination to agriculture, provided primarily by bees, is >$200 billion/year worldwide, and in natural ecosystems it is thought to be even greater. However, no monitoring program exists to accurately detect declines in abundance of insect pollinators; thus, it is difficult to quantify the status of bee communities or estimate the extent of declines. We used data from 11 multiyear studies of bee communities to devise a program to monitor pollinators at regional, national, or international scales. In these studies, 7 different methods for sampling bees were used and bees were sampled on 3 different continents. We estimated that a monitoring program with 200-250 sampling locations each sampled twice over 5 years would provide sufficient power to detect small (2-5%) annual declines in the number of species and in total abundance and would cost U.S.$2,000,000. To detect declines as small as 1% annually over the same period would require >300 sampling locations. Given the role of pollinators in food security and ecosystem function, we recommend establishment of integrated regional and international monitoring programs to detect changes in pollinator communities.

  17. The reproductive biology of euglossine-pollinated plants in the natural reserve Nouragues, French Guiana

    OpenAIRE

    Hentrich, Heiko

    2008-01-01

    The reproductive biology of several euglossine-pollinated species of an understory community in the natural reserve Nouragues in French Guiana were studied. The first two chapters deal with the pollination biology of three sympatric, co-flowering aroids (Anthurium sagittatum, Anthurium thrinax and Spathiphyllum humboldtii). Each of the studied species possessed a specific floral scent bouquet that attracted species-specific pollinators. The pollinators were male euglossine bees, which collect...

  18. Multitasking in a plant-ant interaction: how does Acacia myrtifolia manage both ants and pollinators?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Bauer, Angélica E; Martínez, Gerardo Cerón; Murphy, Daniel J; Burd, Martin

    2015-06-01

    Plant associations with protective ants are widespread among angiosperms, but carry the risk that ants will deter pollinators as well as herbivores. Such conflict, and adaptations to ameliorate or prevent the conflict, have been documented in African and neotropical acacias. Ant-acacia associations occur in Australia, but little is known of their ecology. Moreover, recent phylogenetic evidence indicates that Australian acacias are only distantly related to African and American acacias, providing an intercontinental natural experiment in the management of ant-pollinator conflict. We examined four populations of Acacia myrtifolia over a 400-km environmental gradient in southeastern Australia using ant and pollinator exclusion as well as direct observation of ants and pollinators to assess the potential for ant-pollinator conflict to affect seed set. Native bees were the only group of floral visitors whose visitation rates were a significant predictor of fruiting success, although beetles and wasps may play an important role as "insurance" pollinators. We found no increase in pollinator visitation or fruiting success following ant exclusion, even with large sample sizes and effective exclusion. Because ants are facultative visitors to A. myrtifolia plants, their presence may be insufficient to interfere greatly with floral visitors. It is also likely that the morphological location of extrafloral nectaries tends to draw ants away from reproductive parts, although we commonly observed ants on inflorescences, so the spatial separation is not strict. A. myrtifolia appears to maintain a generalized mutualism over a wide geographic range without the need for elaborate adaptations to resolve ant-pollinator conflict. PMID:25571873

  19. Pollination mechanisms in palms – a synoecological perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Barfod, Anders S.; Hagen, Melanie; Borchsenius, Finn

    More than 60 pollination ecological studies have been conducted on palms since Henderson’s almost 25 year old review of palm pollination. Most studies are aut-ecological studies that provide a detailed snapshot of the pollination of a limited number of palm individuals of the same species. They...... confirm that most palm inflorescences offer a loose framework for the interaction between the palms and their insect visitors. The pollinators are typically weevils (superfamily Curculionidea), rove beetles (family Staphylinidae), sweat bees (family Halictidae), stingless bees (tribe Meliponini, family...... Apidae), and flies (order Diptera). Less is known about variations in the composition of the visiting insect fauna across the geographic range of a given palm species. A number canopy studies have contributed to our understanding of palms in broader palm-pollinator networks and provided insight on the...

  20. Exotic Plant Infestation Is Associated with Decreased Modularity and Increased Numbers of Connectors in Mixed-Grass Prairie Pollination Networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diane L Larson

    Full Text Available The majority of pollinating insects are generalists whose lifetimes overlap flowering periods of many potentially suitable plant species. Such generality is instrumental in allowing exotic plant species to invade pollination networks. The particulars of how existing networks change in response to an invasive plant over the course of its phenology are not well characterized, but may shed light on the probability of long-term effects on plant-pollinator interactions and the stability of network structure. Here we describe changes in network topology and modular structure of infested and non-infested networks during the flowering season of the generalist non-native flowering plant, Cirsium arvense in mixed-grass prairie at Badlands National Park, South Dakota, USA. Objectives were to compare network-level effects of infestation as they propagate over the season in infested and non-infested (with respect to C. arvense networks. We characterized plant-pollinator networks on 5 non-infested and 7 infested 1-ha plots during 4 sample periods that collectively covered the length of C. arvense flowering period. Two other abundantly-flowering invasive plants were present during this time: Melilotus officinalis had highly variable floral abundance in both C. arvense-infested and non-infested plots and Convolvulus arvensis, which occurred almost exclusively in infested plots and peaked early in the season. Modularity, including roles of individual species, and network topology were assessed for each sample period as well as in pooled infested and non-infested networks. Differences in modularity and network metrics between infested and non-infested networks were limited to the third and fourth sample periods, during flower senescence of C. arvense and the other invasive species; generality of pollinators rose concurrently, suggesting rewiring of the network and a lag effect of earlier floral abundance. Modularity was lower and number of connectors higher in

  1. Exotic Plant Infestation Is Associated with Decreased Modularity and Increased Numbers of Connectors in Mixed-Grass Prairie Pollination Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Diane L; Rabie, Paul A; Droege, Sam; Larson, Jennifer L; Haar, Milton

    2016-01-01

    The majority of pollinating insects are generalists whose lifetimes overlap flowering periods of many potentially suitable plant species. Such generality is instrumental in allowing exotic plant species to invade pollination networks. The particulars of how existing networks change in response to an invasive plant over the course of its phenology are not well characterized, but may shed light on the probability of long-term effects on plant-pollinator interactions and the stability of network structure. Here we describe changes in network topology and modular structure of infested and non-infested networks during the flowering season of the generalist non-native flowering plant, Cirsium arvense in mixed-grass prairie at Badlands National Park, South Dakota, USA. Objectives were to compare network-level effects of infestation as they propagate over the season in infested and non-infested (with respect to C. arvense) networks. We characterized plant-pollinator networks on 5 non-infested and 7 infested 1-ha plots during 4 sample periods that collectively covered the length of C. arvense flowering period. Two other abundantly-flowering invasive plants were present during this time: Melilotus officinalis had highly variable floral abundance in both C. arvense-infested and non-infested plots and Convolvulus arvensis, which occurred almost exclusively in infested plots and peaked early in the season. Modularity, including roles of individual species, and network topology were assessed for each sample period as well as in pooled infested and non-infested networks. Differences in modularity and network metrics between infested and non-infested networks were limited to the third and fourth sample periods, during flower senescence of C. arvense and the other invasive species; generality of pollinators rose concurrently, suggesting rewiring of the network and a lag effect of earlier floral abundance. Modularity was lower and number of connectors higher in infested networks

  2. Pollination syndromes ignored

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maruyama, P. K.; Oliveira, G. M.; Ferreira, Célia Maria Dias;

    2013-01-01

    Generalization prevails in flower-animal interactions, and although animal visitors are not equally effective pollinators, most interactions likely represent an important energy intake for the animal visitor. Hummingbirds are nectar-feeding specialists, and many tropical plants are specialized...... toward hummingbird-pollination. In spite of this, especially in dry and seasonal tropical habitats, hummingbirds may often rely on non-ornithophilous plants to meet their energy requirements. However, quantitative studies evaluating the relative importance of ornithophilous vs. non-ornithophilous plants...... greatly to increase the overall nectar availability. We showed that mean nectar offer, at the transect scale, was the only parameter related to hummingbird visitation frequency, more so than nectar offer at single flowers and at the plant scale, or pollination syndrome. Centrality indices, calculated...

  3. Bee poison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bee poisoning is caused by a sting from a bee, wasp , or yellow jacket. This article is for ... Bee, wasp, and yellow jacket stings contain a substance called venom. Africanized bee colonies are very sensitive ...

  4. Neonicotinoid Insecticides and Their Impacts on Bees: A Systematic Review of Research Approaches and Identification of Knowledge Gaps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundin, Ola; Rundlöf, Maj; Smith, Henrik G; Fries, Ingemar; Bommarco, Riccardo

    2015-01-01

    It has been suggested that the widespread use of neonicotinoid insecticides threatens bees, but research on this topic has been surrounded by controversy. In order to synthesize which research approaches have been used to examine the effect of neonicotinoids on bees and to identify knowledge gaps, we systematically reviewed research on this subject that was available on the Web of Science and PubMed in June 2015. Most of the 216 primary research studies were conducted in Europe or North America (82%), involved the neonicotinoid imidacloprid (78%), and concerned the western honey bee Apis mellifera (75%). Thus, little seems to be known about neonicotinoids and bees in areas outside Europe and North America. Furthermore, because there is considerable variation in ecological traits among bee taxa, studies on honey bees are not likely to fully predict impacts of neonicotinoids on other species. Studies on crops were dominated by seed-treated maize, oilseed rape (canola) and sunflower, whereas less is known about potential side effects on bees from the use of other application methods on insect pollinated fruit and vegetable crops, or on lawns and ornamental plants. Laboratory approaches were most common, and we suggest that their capability to infer real-world consequences are improved when combined with information from field studies about realistic exposures to neonicotinoids. Studies using field approaches often examined only bee exposure to neonicotinoids and more field studies are needed that measure impacts of exposure. Most studies measured effects on individual bees. We suggest that effects on the individual bee should be linked to both mechanisms at the sub-individual level and also to the consequences for the colony and wider bee populations. As bees are increasingly facing multiple interacting pressures future research needs to clarify the role of neonicotinoids in relative to other drivers of bee declines. PMID:26313444

  5. Foraging behavior of bee pollinators on the tropical weed Triumfetta semitriloba: flight distance and directionality Comportamento de forrageamento das abelhas polinizadoras da planta invasora Triumfetta semitriloba: distância de vôo e direcionalidade

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. G. COLLEVATTI

    2000-02-01

    Full Text Available We studied flight distance and directionality of bee pollinators on the tropical shrub weed Triumfetta semitriloba Jacq. (Tiliaceae, addressing (1 within- and between-plant movement pattern; (2 distances flown between plants; (3 flight directionality. Flowering plants were distributed in well-delimited clumps, in each of two pasture areas (A1 and A2 and one area of forest gap (A3, in Viçosa, southeastern Brazil. Five solitary bee species, Augochlorella michaelis, Augochloropsis cupreola, Pseudocentron paulistana, Ceratinula sp., Melissodes sexcincta, and two social bee, Plebeia droryana, P. cf. nigriceps were observed. All species moved mainly to the nearest flower on the same individual plant and, in between-plant movements, to the first or second nearest neighbor. All species moved non-randomly, presenting a flight directionality in departures (maintenance of flight direction, but with a high frequency of turn angles. It is suggested that this foraging behavior pattern occurred because of the resource quantity and quality (pollen or nectar, and environmental characteristics such as flower density and resource distribution.Estudamos a distância de vôo e a direcionalidade de abelhas polinizadoras da planta invasora Triumfetta semitriloba Jacq. (Tiliaceae, sobre os seguintes aspectos: (1 padrão de movimentação dentro e entre plantas; (2 distância de vôo entre plantas; (3 direcionalidade de vôo. As plantas floridas eram distribuídas em manchas bem delimitadas, em duas áreas de pasto (A1 e A2 e uma área de clareira de mata (A3, em Viçosa, MG, Sudeste do Brasil. Foram observadas cinco espécies de abelhas solitárias, Augochlorella michaelis, Augochloropsis cupreola, Pseudocentron paulistana, Ceratinula sp., Melissodes sexcincta e duas espécies sociais, Plebeia droryana, P. cf. nigriceps. Todas as espécies moveram principalmente para a flor mais próxima, dentro da mesma planta e, nos movimentos entre plantas, para o primeiro ou

  6. POLLINATION EFFECTIVENESS OF APIS CERANA FABRICUS AND APIS MELLIFERA LINNAEUS (HYMENOPTERA: APIDAE) IN JATROPHA CURCAS L. (EUPHORBIACEAE)

    OpenAIRE

    TRI ATMOWIDI; PUJI RIYANTI; ANDENG SUTRISNA

    2008-01-01

    Pollinators are well known to provide key ecosystem. Animal pollinators are thought to contribute between 15 and 30% of global food production and bees are recognized to be the most important taxon. h e pollination eff ectiveness of two species of bees, Apis cerana and A. mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in Jatropha curcas (Euphorbiaceae) was studied. h ree cages, made of insect screen were set up. Each cage contains three individual plants. One colony of A. mellifera and A. cerana...

  7. Linking Land Cover Data and Crop Yields for Mapping and Assessment of Pollination Services in Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Luisa Paracchini

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Pollination is a key ecosystem service as many crops but in particular, fruits and vegetables are partially dependent on pollinating insects to produce food for human consumption. Here we assessed how pollination services are delivered at the European scale. We used this assessment to estimate the relative contribution of wild pollinators to crop production. We developed an index of relative pollination potential, which is defined as the relative potential or relative capacity of ecosystems to support crop pollination. The model for relative pollination potential is based on the assumption that different habitats, but in particular forest edges, grasslands rich in flowers and riparian areas, offer suitable sites for wild pollinator insects. Using data of the foraging range of wild bees with short flight distances, we linked relative pollination potential to regional statistics of crop production. At aggregated EU level, the absence of insect pollination would result in a reduction of between 25% and 32% of the total production of crops which are partially dependent on insect pollination, depending on the data source used for the assessment. This production deficit decreases to 2.5% if only the relative pollination potential of a single guild of pollinators is considered. A strength of our approach is the spatially-explicit link between land cover based relative pollination potential and crop yield which enables a general assessment of the benefits that are derived from pollination services in Europe while providing insight where pollination gaps in the landscape occur.

  8. Asymmetric effects of loss and gain of a floral trait on pollinator preference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dell'Olivo, Alexandre; Kuhlemeier, Cris

    2013-10-01

    Shifts in pollination syndromes involve coordinated changes in multiple floral traits. This raises the question of how plants can cope with rapid changes in pollinator availability by the slow process of accumulation of mutations in multiple genes. Here we study the transition from bee to hawkmoth pollination in the genus Petunia. Interspecific crosses followed by single locus introgressions were used to recreate putative intermediate evolutionary stages in the evolution of moth pollination. The effect of the loss/gain of petal color was asymmetric: it had no influence on the established pollinator but enhanced visitation by the new pollinator. Therefore, shifts in pollination syndromes may proceed through intermediate stages of reduced specialization and consequently enhanced reproductive assurance. The loss of petal color in moth-pollinated Petunia involves null mutations in a single regulatory gene, An2. Such simple genetic changes may be sufficiently rapid and frequent to ensure survival during pollinator failure. PMID:24094351

  9. Shifts from specialised to generalised pollination systems in Miconieae (Melastomataceae) and their relation with anther morphology and seed number.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brito, V L G; Fendrich, T G; Smidt, E C; Varassin, I G; Goldenberg, R

    2016-07-01

    Most species in Melastomataceae have poricidal anthers related to specialised bee buzz-pollination, while some have anthers with large openings associated to non-bee pollination systems. We tracked the evolution of anther morphology and seed number on the Miconieae phylogenetic tree to understand the evolutionary shifts in such pollination systems. Anther morphometric data and seed number were recorded for 54 taxa. Pollinators (bees, flies, wasps) were recorded for 20 available species. Ancestral state reconstruction was made using Maximum Likelihood from nrITS sequences. We used phylogenetic eigenvector regressions to estimate phylogenetic signal and the adaptive component for these traits. Species pollinated by bees or bees and wasps tend to have smaller pores and fruits with more seeds. Species pollinated by flies or flies and bees and/or wasps tend to have larger pores and fruits with less seeds. Independent evolution occurred three times for anthers with large pores and twice for fruits with few seeds. We detected a phylogenetic signal in both traits, and negative correlated evolution between them. In actinomorphic small-flowered Miconieae, changes in anther morphology can be related to generalisation in the pollination system incorporating flies and wasps as pollinators and lessening the importance of buzzing bees in such process. Differences in pollen removal and deposition may explain differences in anther morphology and seed number in Miconieae. PMID:26789333

  10. Conical epidermal cells allow bees to grip flowers and increase foraging efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitney, Heather M; Chittka, Lars; Bruce, Toby J A; Glover, Beverley J

    2009-06-01

    The plant surface is by default flat, and development away from this default is thought to have some function of evolutionary advantage. Although the functions of many plant epidermal cells have been described, the function of conical epidermal cells, a defining feature of petals in the majority of insect-pollinated flowers, has not. The location and frequency of conical cells have led to speculation that they play a role in attracting animal pollinators. Snapdragon (Antirrhinum) mutants lacking conical cells have been shown to be discriminated against by foraging bumblebees. Here we investigated the extent to which a difference in petal surface structure influences pollinator behavior through touch-based discrimination. To isolate touch-based responses, we used both biomimetic replicas of petal surfaces and isogenic Antirrhinum lines differing only in petal epidermal cell shape. We show that foraging bumblebees are able to discriminate between different surfaces via tactile cues alone. We find that bumblebees use color cues to discriminate against flowers that lack conical cells--but only when flower surfaces are presented at steep angles, making them difficult to manipulate. This facilitation of physical handling is a likely explanation for the prevalence of conical epidermal petal cells in most flowering plants. PMID:19446458

  11. Evaluating bee (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) diversity using malaise traps in coffee landscapes of Costa Rica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Even though Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica Linnaeus, Rubiaceae) can self-pollinate, bees are important pollinators, without which there is lower fruit quality and yield. We studied bee diversity in coffee agroecosystems in Costa Rica during two coffee flowering seasons (2005 and 2006). Malaise traps...

  12. Pheromone paths attached to the substrate in meliponine bees: helpful but not obligatory for recruitment success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schorkopf, Dirk Louis P; Morawetz, Linde; Bento, José M S; Zucchi, Ronaldo; Barth, Friedrich G

    2011-07-01

    In contrast to marking of the location of resources or sexual partners using single-spot pheromone sources, pheromone paths attached to the substrate and assisting orientation are rarely found among flying organisms. However, they do exist in meliponine bees (Apidae, Apinae, Meliponini), commonly known as stingless bees, which represent a group of important pollinators in tropical forests. Worker bees of several Neotropical meliponine species, especially in the genus Scaptotrigona Moure 1942, deposit pheromone paths on substrates between highly profitable resources and their nest. In contrast to past results and claims, we find that these pheromone paths are not an indispensable condition for successful recruitment but rather a means to increase the success of recruiters in persuading their nestmates to forage food at a particular location. Our results are relevant to a speciation theory in scent path-laying meliponine bees, such as Scaptotrigona. In addition, the finding that pheromone path-laying bees are able to recruit to food locations even across barriers such as large bodies of water affects tropical pollination ecology and theories on the evolution of resource communication in insect societies with a flying worker caste. PMID:21445619

  13. Towards integrated control of varroa: effect of variation in hygienic behaviour among honey bee colonies on mite population increase and deformed wing virus incidence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Toufailia, Hasan M Al; Amiri, Esmaeil; Scandian, Luciano;

    2014-01-01

    Hygienic behaviour in the honey bee, Apis mellifera, is the uncapping and removal of dead, diseased or infected brood from sealed cells by worker bees. We determined the effect of hygienic behaviour on varroa population growth and incidence of deformed wing virus (DWV), which can be transmitted by...... varroa. We treated 42 broodless honey bee colonies with oxalic acid in early January 2013 to reduce varroa populations to low levels, which we quantified by extracting mites from a sample of worker bees. We quantified varroa levels, again when the colonies were broodless, 48 weeks later. During the...... summer the hygienic behaviour in each colony was quantified four times using the Freeze Killed Brood (FKB) removal assay, and ranged from 27.5 % to 100 %. Varroa population increased greatly over the season, and there was a significant negative correlation between varroa increase and FKB removal. This...

  14. How specialised is bird pollination in the Cactaceae?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorostiague, P; Ortega-Baes, P

    2016-01-01

    Many cactus species produce 'bird' flowers; however, the reproductive biology of the majority of these species has not been studied. Here, we report on a study of the pollination of two species from the Cleistocactus genus, cited as an ornithophilous genus, in the context of the different ways in which they are specialised to bird pollination. In addition, we re-evaluate the level of specialisation of previous studies of cacti with bird pollination and evaluate how common phenotypic specialisation to birds is in this family. Both Cleistocactus species exhibited ornithophilous floral traits. Cleistocactus baumannii was pollinated by hummingbirds, whereas Cleistocactus smaragdiflorus was pollinated by hummingbirds and bees. Pollination by birds has been recorded in 27 cactus species, many of which exhibit ornithophilous traits; however, they show generalised pollination systems with bees, bats or moths in addition to birds being their floral visitors. Of all cactus species, 27% have reddish flowers. This trait is associated with diurnal anthesis and a tubular shape. Phenotypic specialisation to bird pollination is recognised in many cactus species; however, it is not predictive of functional and ecological specialisation in this family. PMID:25545418

  15. Intensively Cultivated Landscape and Varroa Mite Infestation Are Associated with Reduced Honey Bee Nutritional State

    OpenAIRE

    Adam G Dolezal; Carrillo-Tripp, Jimena; Miller, W. Allen; Bryony C. Bonning; Toth, Amy L.

    2016-01-01

    As key pollinators, honey bees are crucial to many natural and agricultural ecosystems. An important factor in the health of honey bees is the availability of diverse floral resources. However, in many parts of the world, high-intensity agriculture could result in a reduction in honey bee forage. Previous studies have investigated how the landscape surrounding honey bee hives affects some aspects of honey bee health, but to our knowledge there have been no investigations of the effects of int...

  16. The Impact of Pesticides on Honey Bees and Hence on Humans

    OpenAIRE

    Antonina Jivan

    2013-01-01

    Bee crisis is threatening global food security, given the fact that one third of global agricultural production relies on pollination, especially that of honey bees. Despite their importance for human being, honey bees die with alarming speed. In recent years, in Europe and America, due to pollution, pesticides and neglect there was registered an unprecedented rate of disappearance of honey bees. Einstein's theory, the fact that once the bees cease to exist, humanity has only four years to e...

  17. Shifts in the Midgut/Pyloric Microbiota Composition within a Honey Bee Apiary throughout a Season.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ludvigsen, Jane; Rangberg, Anbjørg; Avershina, Ekaterina; Sekelja, Monika; Kreibich, Claus; Amdam, Gro; Rudi, Knut

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are prominent crop pollinators and are, thus, important for effective food production. The honey bee gut microbiota is mainly host specific, with only a few species being shared with other insects. It currently remains unclear how environmental/dietary conditions affect the microbiota within a honey bee population over time. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to characterize the composition of the midgut/pyloric microbiota of a honey bee apiary throughout a season. The rationale for investigating the midgut/pyloric microbiota is its dynamic nature. Monthly sampling of a demographic homogenous population of bees was performed between May and October, with concordant recording of the honey bee diet. Mixed Sanger-and Illumina 16S rRNA gene sequencing in combination with a quantitative PCR analysis were used to determine the bacterial composition. A marked increase in α-diversity was detected between May and June. Furthermore, we found that four distinct phylotypes belonging to the Proteobacteria dominated the microbiota, and these displayed major shifts throughout the season. Gilliamella apicola dominated the composition early on, and Snodgrassella alvi began to dominate when the other bacteria declined to an absolute low in October. In vitro co-culturing revealed that G. apicola suppressed S. alvi. No shift was detected in the composition of the microbiota under stable environment/dietary conditions between November and February. Therefore, environmental/dietary changes may trigger the shifts observed in the honey bee midgut/pyloric microbiota throughout a season. PMID:26330094

  18. Diversification of Fijian halictine bees: insights into a recent island radiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groom, Scott V C; Stevens, Mark I; Schwarz, Michael P

    2013-09-01

    Although bees form a key pollinator suite for flowering plants, very few studies have examined the evolutionary radiation of non-domesticated bees over human time-scales. This is surprising given the importance of bees for crop pollination and the effect of humans in transforming ecosystems via agriculture. In the Pacific, where the bee fauna appears depauperate, their importance as pollinators is not clear, particularly in Fiji where species diversity is even lower than neighbouring archipelagos. Here we explore the radiation of halictine bees in Fiji using phylogenetic analyses of mtDNA COI sequence data. Our analyses indicate the existence of several 'deep' clades whose divergences are close to the crown node, along with a highly derived 'broom' clade showing very high haplotype diversity, and mostly limited to low-lying agricultural regions. This derived clade is very abundant, whereas the more basal clades were relatively rare. Although nearly all haplotype diversity in Fijian Homalictus comprises synonymous substitutions, a small number of amino acid changes are associated with the major clades, including the hyper-diverse clade. Analyses of haplotype lineage accumulation show a steep increase in selectively neutral COI haplotypes corresponding to the emergence of this 'broom' clade. We explore three possible scenarios for this dramatic increase: (i) a key change in adaptedness to the environment, (ii) a large-scale extinction event, or (iii) a dramatic increase in suitable habitats leading to rapid population expansion. Using estimated mutation rates of mitochondrial DNA in other invertebrates, we argue that Homalictus first colonised the Fijian archipelago in the middle-late Pleistocene, and the rapid accumulation of haplotypes in the hyper-diverse clade occurred in the Holocene, but prior to recorded human presence in the Fijian region. Our results indicate that bees have not been important pollinators of Fijian ecosystems until very recent times. Post

  19. Pollination Services of Mango Flower Pollinators

    OpenAIRE

    Huda, A. Nurul; Salmah, M. R. Che; Hassan, A Abu; Hamdan, A.; Razak, M. N. Abdul

    2015-01-01

    Measuring wild pollinator services in agricultural production is very important in the context of sustainable management. In this study, we estimated the contribution of native pollinators to mango fruit set production of two mango cultivars Mangifera indica (L). cv. ‘Sala’ and ‘Chok Anan’. Visitation rates of pollinators on mango flowers and number of pollen grains adhering to their bodies determined pollinator efficiency for reproductive success of the crop. Chok Anan failed to produce any ...

  20. Temporal analysis of the honey bee microbiome reveals four novel viruses and seasonal prevalence of known viruses, Nosema, and Crithidia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles Runckel

    Full Text Available Honey bees (Apis mellifera play a critical role in global food production as pollinators of numerous crops. Recently, honey bee populations in the United States, Canada, and Europe have suffered an unexplained increase in annual losses due to a phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD. Epidemiological analysis of CCD is confounded by a relative dearth of bee pathogen field studies. To identify what constitutes an abnormal pathophysiological condition in a honey bee colony, it is critical to have characterized the spectrum of exogenous infectious agents in healthy hives over time. We conducted a prospective study of a large scale migratory bee keeping operation using high-frequency sampling paired with comprehensive molecular detection methods, including a custom microarray, qPCR, and ultra deep sequencing. We established seasonal incidence and abundance of known viruses, Nosema sp., Crithidia mellificae, and bacteria. Ultra deep sequence analysis further identified four novel RNA viruses, two of which were the most abundant observed components of the honey bee microbiome (∼10(11 viruses per honey bee. Our results demonstrate episodic viral incidence and distinct pathogen patterns between summer and winter time-points. Peak infection of common honey bee viruses and Nosema occurred in the summer, whereas levels of the trypanosomatid Crithidia mellificae and Lake Sinai virus 2, a novel virus, peaked in January.

  1. Collateral effects of beekeeping : impacts on pollen-nectar resources and wild bee communities

    OpenAIRE

    Torné Noguera, Anna; Rodrigo Domínguez, Anselm; Osorio, Sergio; Bosch, Jordi

    2015-01-01

    Due to the contribution of honey bees (Apis mellifera) to wild flower and crop pollination, beekeeping has traditionally been considered a sustainable practice. However, high honey bee densities may have an impact on local pollen and nectar availability, which in turn may negatively affect other pollinators. This is exacerbated by the ability of honey bees to recruit foragers to highly rewarding flower patches. We measured floral resource consumption in rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and t...

  2. Evidence for pollinator cost and farming benefits of neonicotinoid seed coatings on oilseed rape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budge, G. E.; Garthwaite, D.; Crowe, A.; Boatman, N. D.; Delaplane, K. S.; Brown, M. A.; Thygesen, H. H.; Pietravalle, S.

    2015-08-01

    Chronic exposure to neonicotinoid insecticides has been linked to reduced survival of pollinating insects at both the individual and colony level, but so far only experimentally. Analyses of large-scale datasets to investigate the real-world links between the use of neonicotinoids and pollinator mortality are lacking. Moreover, the impacts of neonicotinoid seed coatings in reducing subsequent applications of foliar insecticide sprays and increasing crop yield are not known, despite the supposed benefits of this practice driving widespread use. Here, we combine large-scale pesticide usage and yield observations from oilseed rape with those detailing honey bee colony losses over an 11 year period, and reveal a correlation between honey bee colony losses and national-scale imidacloprid (a neonicotinoid) usage patterns across England and Wales. We also provide the first evidence that farmers who use neonicotinoid seed coatings reduce the number of subsequent applications of foliar insecticide sprays and may derive an economic return. Our results inform the societal discussion on the pollinator costs and farming benefits of prophylactic neonicotinoid usage on a mass flowering crop.

  3. Characterization of the active microbiotas associated with honey bees reveals healthier and broader communities when colonies are genetically diverse.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather R Mattila

    Full Text Available Recent losses of honey bee colonies have led to increased interest in the microbial communities that are associated with these important pollinators. A critical function that bacteria perform for their honey bee hosts, but one that is poorly understood, is the transformation of worker-collected pollen into bee bread, a nutritious food product that can be stored for long periods in colonies. We used 16S rRNA pyrosequencing to comprehensively characterize in genetically diverse and genetically uniform colonies the active bacterial communities that are found on honey bees, in their digestive tracts, and in bee bread. This method provided insights that have not been revealed by past studies into the content and benefits of honey bee-associated microbial communities. Colony microbiotas differed substantially between sampling environments and were dominated by several anaerobic bacterial genera never before associated with honey bees, but renowned for their use by humans to ferment food. Colonies with genetically diverse populations of workers, a result of the highly promiscuous mating behavior of queens, benefited from greater microbial diversity, reduced pathogen loads, and increased abundance of putatively helpful bacteria, particularly species from the potentially probiotic genus Bifidobacterium. Across all colonies, Bifidobacterium activity was negatively correlated with the activity of genera that include pathogenic microbes; this relationship suggests a possible target for understanding whether microbes provide protective benefits to honey bees. Within-colony diversity shapes microbiotas associated with honey bees in ways that may have important repercussions for colony function and health. Our findings illuminate the importance of honey bee-bacteria symbioses and examine their intersection with nutrition, pathogen load, and genetic diversity, factors that are considered key to understanding honey bee decline.

  4. Competition for pollinators and intra-communal spectral dissimilarity of flowers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Kooi, C. J.; Pen, I.; Staal, M.; Stavenga, D. G.; Elzenga, J. T. M.

    2016-01-01

    Competition for pollinators occurs when, in a community of flowering plants, several simultaneously flowering plant species depend on the same pollinator. Competition for pollinators increases interspecific pollen transfer rates, thereby reducing the number of viable offspring. In order to decrease

  5. Determinants of pollinator activity and flower preference in the early spring blooming Crocus vernus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Totland, Ørjan; Matthews, Ingrid

    1998-04-01

    This study examines the effects of environmental factors on the pollination activity on Crocus vernus by Apis mellifera, and also whether bees discriminate among flowers on the basis of floral display size and colour. Flower density was much more important than temperature, humidity, and time of day and season in explaining variation in bee numbers, the total number of flowers visited, the number of flowers visited by individual bees and the total number of visits per flower (visitation rate) during 10 min observation periods. Although flower density positively influenced bee abundance and the number of flowers visited by individual bees, we found a negative relationship between flower density and visitation rates, suggesting that the pool of available pollinators was saturated at flower densities below maximum. Despite this, visitation rates were high. On average a flower received 3.42 visits during one hour; thus there seems to be little intraspecific competition for pollinators despite saturation of the pollinator pool. There was no significant difference between the size or colour of flowers that were visited, approached, or ignored by bees, and duration of visits was not related to floral display size or colour. Thus, on average A. mellifera did not appear to discriminate between flowers on the basis of floral display. Consequently, the data indicate that there is no pollinator mediated selection on floral display, driven by discriminating pollinators.

  6. Spinosad in the native stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata: regrettable non-target toxicity of a bioinsecticide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomé, Hudson Vaner V; Barbosa, Wagner F; Martins, Gustavo F; Guedes, Raul Narciso C

    2015-04-01

    The risks imposed by novel insecticides, mainly bioinsecticides, are largely unknown despite their increased use and their perceived environmental safety, which is based on their natural origin. Furthermore, unlike honeybees, native pollinator species have received little attention. In the present study, the lethal and sublethal effects of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid and the bioinsecticide spinosad were assessed in the stingless bee species Meliponaquadrifasciata, an important native pollinator in the Neotropical region. The adult stingless bee workers exhibited high oral insecticide susceptibility, with LD50s of 23.54 and 12.07 ng a.i./bee for imidacloprid and spinosad, respectively. Imidacloprid also impaired worker respiration and overall group activity and flight, while spinosad significantly impaired only worker flight despite exhibiting higher oral toxicity to adult workers than imidacloprid. These findings indicate the hazardous nature not only of imidacloprid but also the bioinsecticide spinosad to adult workers of the native pollinator M. quadrifasciata. Therefore, bioinsecticides should not be exempted from risk assessment analysis due to their lethal and sublethal components. PMID:25496737

  7. Honey Bees' Behavior Is Impaired by Chronic Exposure to the Neonicotinoid Thiacloprid in the Field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tison, Léa; Hahn, Marie-Luise; Holtz, Sophie; Rößner, Alexander; Greggers, Uwe; Bischoff, Gabriela; Menzel, Randolf

    2016-07-01

    The decline of pollinators worldwide is of growing concern and has been related to the use of plant-protecting chemicals. Most studies have focused on three neonicotinoid insecticides (clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam) currently subject to a moratorium in the EU. Here, we focus on thiacloprid, a widely used cyano-substituted neonicotinoid thought to be less toxic to honey bees and of which use has increased in the last years. Honey bees (Apis mellifera carnica) were exposed chronically to thiacloprid in the field for several weeks at a sublethal concentration. Foraging behavior, homing success, navigation performance, and social communication were impaired, and thiacloprid residue levels increased both in the foragers and the nest mates over time. The effects observed in the field were not due to a repellent taste of the substance. For the first time, we present the necessary data for the risk evaluation of thiacloprid taken up chronically by honey bees in field conditions. PMID:27268938

  8. Morphofunctional Traits and Pollination Mechanisms of Coronilla emerus L. Flowers (Fabaceae)

    OpenAIRE

    Giovanna Aronne; Manuela Giovanetti; Veronica De Micco

    2012-01-01

    It is accepted that the papilionaceous corolla of the Fabaceae evolved under the selective pressure of bee pollinators. Morphology and function of different parts of Coronilla emerus L. flowers were related to their role in the pollination mechanism. The corolla has a vexillum with red nectar lines, a keel hiding stamens and pistil, and two wing petals fasten to the keel with two notched folds. Pollinators land on the complex of keel and wings, trigger the protrusion of pollen and finally of ...

  9. Deceptive pollination of orchids

    OpenAIRE

    Zongxin Ren; Hong Wang; Yibo Luo

    2012-01-01

    Mutualism, or a mutually beneficial interaction between two organisms, are ubiquitous in ecological systems. However, some “empty flowers”, which offer pollinators no any kinds of rewards, design different strategies to attract pollinators without providing rewards to the pollinators. These pollination mechanisms are called deceptive pollination. The family Orchidaceae, representing one of the largest groups in angiosperms, is distinguished by high floral diversity and intricate adaptations t...

  10. Detoxification and stress response genes expressed in a western North American bumble bee, Bombus huntii (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bumble bees are generalist floral visitors, meaning they pollinate a wide variety of plants. Their pollination activities expose them to both plant toxins and pesticides, yet little is known about what detoxification pathways are active in bumble bees, how the expression of detoxification genes chan...

  11. Pollination by sexual deception-it takes chemistry to work.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohman, Björn; Flematti, Gavin R; Barrow, Russell A; Pichersky, Eran; Peakall, Rod

    2016-08-01

    Semiochemicals are of paramount importance in sexually deceptive plants. These plants sexually lure specific male insects as pollinators by chemical and physical mimicry of the female of the pollinator. The strategy has evolved repeatedly in orchids, with a wide diversity of insect groups exploited. Chemical communication systems confirmed by field bioassays include: alkenes and alkanes in bee pollinated Ophrys species, keto-acid and hydroxy-acids in scoliid wasp pollinated O. speculum, and cyclohexanediones and pyrazines in thynnine wasp pollinated Chiloglottis and Drakaea orchids, respectively. In Ophrys, stearoyl-acyl carrier protein desaturase (SAD) enzymes have been confirmed to control species level variation in alkene double bond position. The production of cyclohexanediones in Chiloglottis unexpectedly depends on UVB light, a phenomenon unknown for other plant specialised metabolites. Potential biosynthetic pathways for other systems are explored, and alternative approaches to further accelerate chemical discovery in sexually deceptive plants are proposed. PMID:27368084

  12. Pollination of Polish red list plants: a preliminary statistical survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcin Zych

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available One of the important problems of modern conservation biology is the lack of reliable data on plant pollination systems, especially for taxa threatened with extinction. This paper is an attempt to collect and analyze the available literature data on pollination of Polish red list plants. The Polish red list includes 469 angiosperm taxa, over 53% of them are insect-pollinated and visited mostly by bees and flies, insects that are also declining in Europe. These numbers however are mainly based on lists of fl ower visitors and detailed studies of pollination biology or breeding system are available for less than 20% of the taxa, with further 10% almost completely unstudied in terms of their life histories. The paper indicates that there is an urgent need to study plant-pollinator relationships in order to better conserve the biodiversity in local and global scales.

  13. On managing the red mason bee (Osmia bicornis) in apple orchards

    OpenAIRE

    Gruber, Bernd; Eckel, Katharina; Everaars, Jeroen; Dormann, Carsten

    2011-01-01

    A worldwide decline of pollinator abundance is recorded and the worldwide pollination of insect-pollinated crops has traditionally depended on a single species, the honeybee. The risks of relying on a single species are obvious. Other species have been developed for particular crops. Here we present an extension of the framework of Bosch and Kemp (2002) that deals on how to develop a bee species into a crop pollinator. We used nesting aids in different settings to address five important issue...

  14. Wild Bee Community Composition and Foraging Behaviour in Commercial Strawberries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ahrenfeldt, Erica Juel

    were ground-nesting polylectic solitary species that are known to forage in the family Rosaceae, to which strawberry belong, which indicate that the bees sampled are a source of pollination in strawberries (I, II). Furthermore, the high proportion of polylectic bees found in Danish strawberry fields...

  15. Colonies of bumble bees (Bombus impatiens) produce fewer workers, less bee biomass, and have smaller mother queens following fungicide exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bees provide vital pollination services to the majority of flowering plants in both natural and agricultural systems. Unfortunately, both native and managed bee populations are experiencing serious declines, threatening the persistence of these plants and crops. Agricultural chemicals are one possib...

  16. The Dependence of Crops for Pollinators and the Economic Value of Pollination in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giannini, T C; Cordeiro, G D; Freitas, B M; Saraiva, A M; Imperatriz-Fonseca, V L

    2015-06-01

    Food production is challenged by changes in climate and land use and expanding human population growth. Proper pollination can increase the production and quality of fruit, nut, oil, and fiber crops. We reviewed crop dependence on pollinators and estimated the economic value of pollination per year for each crop in Brazil. We analyzed 141 crops and found that 85 depend on pollinators. Almost one-third of these crops have an essential or great dependence on pollinators. The economic contribution of pollinators totals ∼30% (∼US$12 billion) of the total annual agricultural income of the dependent crops (totalizing almost US$45 billion). However, half of these figures includes soybean crop (US$5.7 billion of pollinators' contribution and US$22 billion of annual income). Soybean was considered as having a modest dependence on pollinators, but this remains controversial because pollinator dependence might vary among different varieties cultivated in Brazil. Moreover, we have no information about pollinator dependence regarding some important crops, showing the urgent need for basic research into reproductive biology and pollination ecology. PMID:26470203

  17. Functionality of Selected Aromatic Lamiaceae in Attracting Pollinators in Central Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbir, Jelena; Azpiazu, Celeste; Badenes-Pérez, Francisco R; Fernández-Quintanilla, César; Dorado, José

    2016-04-01

    Planting floral margins in agricultural landscapes has been shown to increase the abundance of pollinators in agro-ecosystems. However, to create efficient margins, it is necessary to use attractive, not weedy native plants with different blooming periods to prolong the availability of floral resources. Six native perennial plants of the Lamiaceae with different blooming periods were studied in a randomized block design, with the final aim to select the most efficient plants in floral mixtures by studying relationships between their floral phenology, floral density, and attractiveness to pollinators in Central Spain. In addition, their spatial expansion, i.e., potential weediness, was estimated under the field conditions, as the final purpose of the plants is to be implemented within the agro-ecosystems. The results showed that plant species with higher floral density (Nepeta tuberosa L. and Hyssopus officinalis L.) showed significantly higher attractiveness to pollinators and enhanced the attractiveness of floral mixtures. Species that bloomed in early spring (Salvia verbenaca L.) and in summer (Melissa officinalis L. and Thymbra capitata L.) did not efficiently contribute to the attractiveness of the mixtures to pollinators. In addition, besides high floral density of Salvia officinalis L. and N. tuberosa in the spring, warm and dry weather in spring 2012 enhanced the activity of bees, while cold and rainy weather in spring 2013 enhanced the activity of hoverflies. None of the plants showed weedy growth and so posed no danger of invading adjacent crops. PMID:26838345

  18. Is rapid evolution of reproductive traits in Adonis annua consistent with pollinator decline?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomann, M.; Imbert, E.; Cheptou, P.-O.

    2015-11-01

    Growing human footprint on the environment rapidly modifies the living conditions of natural populations. This could lead to phenotypic changes through both plasticity and evolution. Therefore, distinguishing the role of evolution in the phenotypic response to global change is a major challenge. In this study, we benefited from past and recent seeds from a population of the annual self-compatible weed Adonis annua. Seeds were sampled from the same locality at an 18 years interval and close to a region where reduction of bee pollinators' density has been reported. We used a common garden experiment to investigate evolutionary changes, between the old (1992) and the recent (2010) sample, for some reproductive traits expected to be under selection in the context of climate warming and pollinator decline. Plants of the recent sample flowered earlier, had larger flowers, but also evolved a shorter floral longevity. The capacity of plants to reproduce autonomously (autonomous selfing) was similar in the two samples. These results are consistent with adaptation of flowering phenology to climate warming and in part consistent with the evolution of increased pollinator attraction under pollinator decline. Together with other recent studies, this study provides evidence that short-term evolution is a frequent phenomenon accompanying global change.

  19. A Temporal Dimension to the Influence of Pollen Rewards on Bee Behaviour and Fecundity in Aloe tenuior

    OpenAIRE

    Duffy, Karl J.; Steven D. Johnson; Peter, Craig I.

    2014-01-01

    The net effect of pollen production on fecundity in plants can range from negative – when self-pollen interferes with fecundity due to incompatibility mechanisms, to positive – when pollen availability is associated with increased pollinator visitation and fecundity due to its utilization as a reward. We investigated the responses of bees to pollen and nectar rewards, and the effects of these rewards on pollen deposition and fecundity in the hermaphroditic succulent shrub Aloe tenuior. Self-p...

  20. Pollinator limitation on reproductive success in Iris tuberosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellegrino, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    Variation in plant and floral size can have conflicting effects on pollination and fruit production in flowering plants. This research examines the contributions of plant height, flower size and pollinator visitation to reproductive success in four populations of Iris tuberosa. The plants were pollinated exclusively by hymenopteran species, primarily during sunny days. Pollination supplementation increased the proportion of flowers that matured into fruit, with 95 % fruit set for hand-pollinated compared with 74.15 % for naturally pollinated flowers. The pollinator visitation rate and the proportion of fruit produced were not significantly different between tall and short plants or between small and large flowers. Furthermore, the increase in plant size and floral display did not increase the frequency of pollinator visitations and so did not increase the fruit set. Thus, despite the widespread effects of flowering plant size on pollinator attraction and plant reproduction in other species, these effects are lacking in I. tuberosa. This study quantifies the role of pollinators in the reproductive success of I. tuberosa. Pollinators visited tall/short plants and large/small flowers in equal proportion, suggesting that plant and floral display size do not affect pollinator attraction and reproductive success in I. tuberosa. These results suggest that sexual reproduction of I. tuberosa is fairly limited by pollinators and not by resource limitation. PMID:25527476

  1. The plight of the bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spivak, M.; Mader, E.; Vaughan, M.; Euliss, N.H.

    2011-01-01

    The loss of biodiversity is a trend that is garnering much concern. As organisms have evolved mutualistic and synergistic relationships, the loss of one or a few species can have a much wider environmental impact. Since much pollination is facilitated by bees, the reported colony collapse disorder has many worried of widespread agricultural fallout and thus deleterious impact on human foodstocks. In this Feature, Spivak et al. review what is known of the present state of bee populations and provide information on how to mitigate and reverse the trend. ?? 2010 American Chemical Society.

  2. Habitat Fragmentation and Native Bees: a Premature Verdict?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James H. Cane

    2001-06-01

    Full Text Available Few studies directly address the consequences of habitat fragmentation for communities of pollinating insects, particularly for the key pollinator group, bees (Hymenoptera: Apiformes. Bees typically live in habitats where nesting substrates and bloom are patchily distributed and spatially dissociated. Bee studies have all defined habitat fragments as remnant patches of floral hosts or forests, overlooking the nesting needs of bees. Several authors conclude that habitat fragmentation is broadly deleterious, but their own data show that some native species proliferate in sampled fragments. Other studies report greater densities and comparable diversities of native bees at flowers in some fragment size classes relative to undisrupted habitats, but find dramatic shifts in species composition. Insightful studies of habitat fragmentation and bees will consider fragmentation, alteration, and loss of nesting habitats, not just patches of forage plants, as well as the permeability of the surrounding matrix to interpatch movement. Inasmuch as the floral associations and nesting habits of bees are often attributes of species or subgenera, ecological interpretations hinge on authoritative identifications. Study designs must accommodate statistical problems associated with bee community samples, especially non-normal data and frequent zero values. The spatial scale of fragmentation must be appreciated: bees of medium body size can regularly fly 1–2 km from nest site to forage patch. Overall, evidence for prolonged persistence of substantial diversity and abundances of native bee communities in habitat fragments of modest size promises practical solutions for maintaining bee populations. Provided that reserve selection, design, and management can address the foraging and nesting needs of bees, networks of even small reserves may hold hope for sustaining considerable pollinator diversity and the ecological services pollinators provide.

  3. Pesticide Residues and Bees – A Risk Assessment

    OpenAIRE

    Francisco Sanchez-Bayo; Koichi Goka

    2014-01-01

    Bees are essential pollinators of many plants in natural ecosystems and agricultural crops alike. In recent years the decline and disappearance of bee species in the wild and the collapse of honey bee colonies have concerned ecologists and apiculturalists, who search for causes and solutions to this problem. Whilst biological factors such as viral diseases, mite and parasite infections are undoubtedly involved, it is also evident that pesticides applied to agricultural crops have a negative i...

  4. Honey Bee Gut Microbiome Is Altered by In-Hive Pesticide Exposures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kakumanu, Madhavi L; Reeves, Alison M; Anderson, Troy D; Rodrigues, Richard R; Williams, Mark A

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are the primary pollinators of major horticultural crops. Over the last few decades, a substantial decline in honey bees and their colonies have been reported. While a plethora of factors could contribute to the putative decline, pathogens, and pesticides are common concerns that draw attention. In addition to potential direct effects on honey bees, indirect pesticide effects could include alteration of essential gut microbial communities and symbionts that are important to honey bee health (e.g., immune system). The primary objective of this study was to determine the microbiome associated with honey bees exposed to commonly used in-hive pesticides: coumaphos, tau-fluvalinate, and chlorothalonil. Treatments were replicated at three independent locations near Blacksburg Virginia, and included a no-pesticide amended control at each location. The microbiome was characterized through pyrosequencing of V2-V3 regions of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene and fungal ITS region. Pesticide exposure significantly affected the structure of bacterial but not fungal communities. The bee bacteriome, similar to other studies, was dominated by sequences derived from Bacilli, Actinobacteria, α-, β-, γ-proteobacteria. The fungal community sequences were dominated by Ascomycetes and Basidiomycetes. The Multi-response permutation procedures (MRPP) and subsequent Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt) analysis indicated that chlorothalonil caused significant change to the structure and functional potential of the honey bee gut bacterial community relative to control. Putative genes for oxidative phosphorylation, for example, increased while sugar metabolism and peptidase potential declined in the microbiome of chlorothalonil exposed bees. The results of this field-based study suggest the potential for pesticide induced changes to the honey bee gut microbiome that warrant further investigation. PMID:27579024

  5. Honey Bee Gut Microbiome Is Altered by In-Hive Pesticide Exposures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kakumanu, Madhavi L.; Reeves, Alison M.; Anderson, Troy D.; Rodrigues, Richard R.; Williams, Mark A.

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are the primary pollinators of major horticultural crops. Over the last few decades, a substantial decline in honey bees and their colonies have been reported. While a plethora of factors could contribute to the putative decline, pathogens, and pesticides are common concerns that draw attention. In addition to potential direct effects on honey bees, indirect pesticide effects could include alteration of essential gut microbial communities and symbionts that are important to honey bee health (e.g., immune system). The primary objective of this study was to determine the microbiome associated with honey bees exposed to commonly used in-hive pesticides: coumaphos, tau-fluvalinate, and chlorothalonil. Treatments were replicated at three independent locations near Blacksburg Virginia, and included a no-pesticide amended control at each location. The microbiome was characterized through pyrosequencing of V2–V3 regions of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene and fungal ITS region. Pesticide exposure significantly affected the structure of bacterial but not fungal communities. The bee bacteriome, similar to other studies, was dominated by sequences derived from Bacilli, Actinobacteria, α-, β-, γ-proteobacteria. The fungal community sequences were dominated by Ascomycetes and Basidiomycetes. The Multi-response permutation procedures (MRPP) and subsequent Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt) analysis indicated that chlorothalonil caused significant change to the structure and functional potential of the honey bee gut bacterial community relative to control. Putative genes for oxidative phosphorylation, for example, increased while sugar metabolism and peptidase potential declined in the microbiome of chlorothalonil exposed bees. The results of this field-based study suggest the potential for pesticide induced changes to the honey bee gut microbiome that warrant further investigation. PMID:27579024

  6. Functional Diversity of Plant-Pollinator Interaction Webs Enhances the Persistence of Plant Communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Pollination is exclusively or mainly animal mediated for 70% to 90% of angiosperm species. Thus, pollinators provide an essential ecosystem service to humankind. However, the impact of human-induced biodiversity loss on the functioning of plant-pollinator interactions has not been tested experimentally. To understand how plant communities respond to diversity changes in their pollinating fauna, we manipulated the functional diversity of both plants and pollinators under natural conditions. Increasing the functional diversity of both plants and pollinators led to the recruitment of more diverse plant communities. After two years the plant communities pollinated by the most functionally diverse pollinator assemblage contained about 50% more plant species than did plant communities pollinated by less-diverse pollinator assemblages. Moreover, the positive effect of functional diversity was explained by a complementarity between functional groups of pollinators and plants. Thus, the functional diversity of pollination networks may be critical to ecosystem sustainability.

  7. Differential sensitivity of honey bees and bumble bees to a dietary insecticide (imidacloprid).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cresswell, James E; Page, Christopher J; Uygun, Mehmet B; Holmbergh, Marie; Li, Yueru; Wheeler, Jonathan G; Laycock, Ian; Pook, Christopher J; de Ibarra, Natalie Hempel; Smirnoff, Nick; Tyler, Charles R

    2012-12-01

    Currently, there is concern about declining bee populations and the sustainability of pollination services. One potential threat to bees is the unintended impact of systemic insecticides, which are ingested by bees in the nectar and pollen from flowers of treated crops. To establish whether imidacloprid, a systemic neonicotinoid and insect neurotoxin, harms individual bees when ingested at environmentally realistic levels, we exposed adult worker bumble bees, Bombus terrestris L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), and honey bees, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), to dietary imidacloprid in feeder syrup at dosages between 0.08 and 125μg l(-1). Honey bees showed no response to dietary imidacloprid on any variable that we measured (feeding, locomotion and longevity). In contrast, bumble bees progressively developed over time a dose-dependent reduction in feeding rate with declines of 10-30% in the environmentally relevant range of up to 10μg l(-1), but neither their locomotory activity nor longevity varied with diet. To explain their differential sensitivity, we speculate that honey bees are better pre-adapted than bumble bees to feed on nectars containing synthetic alkaloids, such as imidacloprid, by virtue of their ancestral adaptation to tropical nectars in which natural alkaloids are prevalent. We emphasise that our study does not suggest that honey bee colonies are invulnerable to dietary imidacloprid under field conditions, but our findings do raise new concern about the impact of agricultural neonicotinoids on wild bumble bee populations. PMID:23044068

  8. Imidacloprid-Induced Impairment of Mushroom Bodies and Behavior of the Native Stingless Bee Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides

    OpenAIRE

    Hudson Vaner V Tomé; Gustavo F. Martins; Lima, Maria Augusta P.; Campos, Lúcio Antonio O.; Guedes, Raul Narciso C.

    2012-01-01

    Declines in pollinator colonies represent a worldwide concern. The widespread use of agricultural pesticides is recognized as a potential cause of these declines. Previous studies have examined the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides such as imidacloprid on pollinator colonies, but these investigations have mainly focused on adult honey bees. Native stingless bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Meliponinae) are key pollinators in neotropical areas and are threatened with extinction due to deforestat...

  9. Pollination biology in the dioecious orchid Catasetum uncatum: How does floral scent influence the behaviour of pollinators?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milet-Pinheiro, Paulo; Navarro, Daniela Maria do Amaral Ferraz; Dötterl, Stefan; Carvalho, Airton Torres; Pinto, Carlos Eduardo; Ayasse, Manfred; Schlindwein, Clemens

    2015-08-01

    Catasetum is a neotropical orchid genus that comprises about 160 dioecious species with a remarkable sexual dimorphism in floral morphology. Flowers of Catasetum produce perfumes as rewards, which are collected only by male euglossine bees. Currently, floral scents are known to be involved in the selective attraction of specific euglossine species. However, sexual dimorphism in floral scent and its eventual role in the pollination of Catasetum species have never been investigated. Here, we have investigated the pollination of Catasetum uncatum and asked: (1) Is floral scent a sexual dimorphic trait? (2) Does pollinarium removal/deposition affect scent emission? (3) Does sexual dimorphism in floral scent and changed scent emission have implications with regard to the behaviour of the pollinators? The frequency and behaviour of floral visitors were observed in non-manipulated flowers (both flower sexes) and in manipulated flowers (pistillate only) in which pollinaria were deposited. Scents of staminate and pistillate flowers (both manipulated and non-manipulated) were collected by using dynamic headspace methods and analysed chemically. Electrophysiological analyses were performed to detect compounds triggering antennal depolarisation in the euglossine species. C. uncatum is pollinated mainly by males of Euglossa nanomelanotricha. Pollinators were more frequent in pistillate than in staminate inflorescences. Bees approaching staminate flowers frequently flew away without visiting them, a behavioural pattern not observed in pistillate flowers. In the chemical analyses, we recorded 99 compounds, 31 of which triggered antennal depolarisation in pollinators. Multivariate analyses with the electrophysiological-active compounds did not detect differences between the scent composition of staminate and pistillate flowers. Pollinarium removal or deposition resulted in diminished scent emission within 24h in staminate and pistillate flowers, respectively. Surprisingly, bees

  10. Pollinator guild organization and its consequences for reproduction in three synchronopatric species of Tibouchina (Melastomataceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Maria Franco

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Pollinator guild organization and its consequences for reproduction in three synchronopatric species of Tibouchina (Melastomataceae. In co-flowering plant species, pollinator sharing can result in interspecific pollen transfer and fecundity reduction. Competition will be relaxed whenever there is a large amount of initial pollen supply or if each plant species occupies different habitat patches. Reproduction in Tibouchina cerastifolia (Naudin Cogn., T. clinopodifolia (DC. Cogn. and T. gracilis (Bonpl. Cogn. was studied in an area of Atlantic rainforest to examine whether synchronopatry induces time partitioning among pollinator species. Eleven bee species comprised the pollinator guild. Among pollinators, there were overlaps in bee species composition and in flower visitation time. Direct competition for pollen in Tibouchina Aubl. at the study site seems to lead to different activity periods among the bee species, in which Bombus pauloensis Friese,1913 was most active earlier, while the other species were active later in the day. Bombus pauloensis, the largest bee species recorded on Tibouchina flowers, was the most important and efficient pollinator. This species harvested pollen before the other species and had the shortest handling time. The plants reproduced sexually by selfing or outcrossing, and hybridization was not avoided by incompatibility reactions at the style. The avoidance of direct competition for pollen and no pollinator partitioning among the synchronopatric species of Tibouchina may reflect a facilitative interaction among these pioneer plants.

  11. A novel mutualism between an ant-plant and its resident pollinator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shenoy, Megha; Borges, Renee M.

    2008-01-01

    Pollination systems in which the host plant provides breeding sites for pollinators, invariably within flowers, are usually highly specialized mutualisms. We found that the pollinating bee Braunsapis puangensis breeds within the caulinary domatia of the semi-myrmecophyte Humboldtia brunonis (Fabaceae), an unusual ant-plant that is polymorphic for the presence of domatia and harbours a diverse invertebrate fauna including protective and non-protective ants in its domatia. B. puangensis is the most common flower visitor that carries the highest proportion of H. brunonis pollen. This myrmecophyte is pollen limited and cross-pollinated by bees in the daytime. Hence, the symbiotic pollinator could provide a benefit to trees bearing domatia by alleviating this limitation. We therefore report for the first time an unspecialised mutualism in which a pollinator is housed in a plant structure other than flowers. Here, the cost to the plant is lower than for conventional brood-site pollination mutualisms where the pollinator develops at the expense of plant reproductive structures. Myrmecophytes housing resident pollinators are unusual, as ants are known to be enemies of pollinators, and housing them together may decrease the benefits that these residents could individually provide to the host plant.

  12. What's the 'buzz' about? The ecology and evolutionary significance of buzz-pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Luca, Paul A; Vallejo-Marín, Mario

    2013-08-01

    Many plant species have evolved floral characteristics that restrict pollen access. Some of these species are visited by insects, principally bees, which make use of vibrations to extract pollen from anthers. Buzz-pollination, as this phenomenon is generally known, is a widespread method of fertilization for thousands of species in both natural and agricultural systems. Despite its prevalence in pollination systems, the ecological and evolutionary conditions that favour the evolution of buzz-pollination are poorly known. We briefly summarize the biology of buzz-pollination and review recent studies on plant and pollinator characteristics that affect pollen removal. We suggest that buzz-pollination evolves as the result of an escalation in the competition between plants and pollen-consuming floral visitors (including pollen thieves and true pollinators) to control the rate of pollen removal from flowers. PMID:23751734

  13. Honey bee diet in intensive farmland habitats reveals an unexpectedly high flower richness and a major role of weeds

    OpenAIRE

    Requier, Fabrice; Odoux, Jean Francois; Tamic, Thierry; Moreau, Nathalie; Henry, Mickaël; Decourtye, Axel; Bretagnolle, Vincent

    2015-01-01

    In intensive farmland habitats, pollination of wild flowers and crops may be threatened by the widespread decline of pollinators. The honey bee decline, in particular, appears to result from the combination of multiple stresses, including diseases, pathogens, and pesticides. The reduction of semi-natural habitats is also suspected to entail floral resource scarcity for bees. Yet, the seasonal dynamics and composition of the honey bee diet remains poorly documented to date. In this study, we s...

  14. Nest suitability, fine-scale population structure and male-mediated dispersal of a solitary ground nesting bee in an urban landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margarita M López-Uribe

    Full Text Available Bees are the primary pollinators of flowering plants in almost all ecosystems. Worldwide declines in bee populations have raised awareness about the importance of their ecological role in maintaining ecosystem functioning. The naturally strong philopatric behavior that some bee species show can be detrimental to population viability through increased probability of inbreeding. Furthermore, bee populations found in human-altered landscapes, such as urban areas, can experience lower levels of gene flow and effective population sizes, increasing potential for inbreeding depression in wild bee populations. In this study, we investigated the fine-scale population structure of the solitary bee Colletes inaequalis in an urbanized landscape. First, we developed a predictive spatial model to detect suitable nesting habitat for this ground nesting bee and to inform our field search for nests. We genotyped 18 microsatellites in 548 female individuals collected from nest aggregations throughout the study area. Genetic relatedness estimates revealed that genetic similarity among individuals was slightly greater within nest aggregations than among randomly chosen individuals. However, genetic structure among nest aggregations was low (Nei's GST = 0.011. Reconstruction of parental genotypes revealed greater genetic relatedness among females than among males within nest aggregations, suggesting male-mediated dispersal as a potentially important mechanism of population connectivity and inbreeding avoidance. Size of nesting patch was positively correlated with effective population size, but not with other estimators of genetic diversity. We detected a positive trend between geographic distance and genetic differentiation between nest aggregations. Our landscape genetic models suggest that increased urbanization is likely associated with higher levels of inbreeding. Overall, these findings emphasize the importance of density and distribution of suitable nesting

  15. Nest suitability, fine-scale population structure and male-mediated dispersal of a solitary ground nesting bee in an urban landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Uribe, Margarita M; Morreale, Stephen J; Santiago, Christine K; Danforth, Bryan N

    2015-01-01

    Bees are the primary pollinators of flowering plants in almost all ecosystems. Worldwide declines in bee populations have raised awareness about the importance of their ecological role in maintaining ecosystem functioning. The naturally strong philopatric behavior that some bee species show can be detrimental to population viability through increased probability of inbreeding. Furthermore, bee populations found in human-altered landscapes, such as urban areas, can experience lower levels of gene flow and effective population sizes, increasing potential for inbreeding depression in wild bee populations. In this study, we investigated the fine-scale population structure of the solitary bee Colletes inaequalis in an urbanized landscape. First, we developed a predictive spatial model to detect suitable nesting habitat for this ground nesting bee and to inform our field search for nests. We genotyped 18 microsatellites in 548 female individuals collected from nest aggregations throughout the study area. Genetic relatedness estimates revealed that genetic similarity among individuals was slightly greater within nest aggregations than among randomly chosen individuals. However, genetic structure among nest aggregations was low (Nei's GST = 0.011). Reconstruction of parental genotypes revealed greater genetic relatedness among females than among males within nest aggregations, suggesting male-mediated dispersal as a potentially important mechanism of population connectivity and inbreeding avoidance. Size of nesting patch was positively correlated with effective population size, but not with other estimators of genetic diversity. We detected a positive trend between geographic distance and genetic differentiation between nest aggregations. Our landscape genetic models suggest that increased urbanization is likely associated with higher levels of inbreeding. Overall, these findings emphasize the importance of density and distribution of suitable nesting patches for enhancing

  16. Does pollinator diversity loss affect pollination: a test with the California poppy and clustered tarweed

    OpenAIRE

    Cen, Henry Jiayin

    2015-01-01

    Pollinators are in decline as a result of human activities such as habitat fragmentation. This study examined the effects of habitat fragmentation and reduced bee diversity on the reproductive performance of California poppy, Eschscholzia californica, and clustered tarweed, Deinandra fasciculata, in the San Diego region. We experimentally introduced potted poppy plants in to scrub fragment habitats and natural reserves. We surveyed the potted poppy plants for floral visitors followed by in si...

  17. Pollination effectiveness of different strawberry floral visitors in Ribatejo, Portugal : selection of potential pollinators : Part 2

    OpenAIRE

    Albano, Sílvia; Salvado, Eva; Duarte, Sónia; Mexia, António; Paulo A V Borges

    2009-01-01

    Copyright © 2009 Universita degli Studi di Firenze. This study was carried out in a strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.) field located in Ribatejo, Portugal, and aims to describe the qualitative component of the visits for three strawberry floral visitors, attaining the best results in a previous work. The main objectives were: (1) to assess the pollination rate (PR) resulting from a single visit of Apis mellifera L., Syrphidae and native bees, and (2) to characterize the foraging behavi...

  18. Conservation value and permeability of neotropical oil palm landscapes for orchid bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livingston, George; Jha, Shalene; Vega, Andres; Gilbert, Lawrence

    2013-01-01

    The proliferation of oil palm plantations has led to dramatic changes in tropical landscapes across the globe. However, relatively little is known about the effects of oil palm expansion on biodiversity, especially in key ecosystem-service providing organisms like pollinators. Rapid land use change is exacerbated by limited knowledge of the mechanisms causing biodiversity decline in the tropics, particularly those involving landscape features. We examined these mechanisms by undertaking a survey of orchid bees, a well-known group of Neotropical pollinators, across forest and oil palm plantations in Costa Rica. We used chemical baits to survey the community in four regions: continuous forest sites, oil palm sites immediately adjacent to forest, oil palm sites 2 km from forest, and oil palm sites greater than 5 km from forest. We found that although orchid bees are present in all environments, orchid bee communities diverged across the gradient, and community richness, abundance, and similarity to forest declined as distance from forest increased. In addition, mean phylogenetic distance of the orchid bee community declined and was more clustered in oil palm. Community traits also differed with individuals in oil palm having shorter average tongue length and larger average geographic range size than those in the forest. Our results indicate two key features about Neotropical landscapes that contain oil palm: 1) oil palm is selectively permeable to orchid bees and 2) orchid bee communities in oil palm have distinct phylogenetic and trait structure compared to communities in forest. These results suggest that conservation and management efforts in oil palm-cultivating regions should focus on landscape features. PMID:24147137

  19. Indirect interactions between invasive and native plants via pollinators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaiser-Bunbury, Christopher N.; Müller, Christine B.

    2009-03-01

    In generalised pollination systems, the presence of alien plant species may change the foraging behaviour of pollinators on native plant species, which could result in reduced reproductive success of native plant species. We tested this idea of indirect interactions on a small spatial and temporal scale in a field study in Mauritius, where the invasive strawberry guava, Psidium cattleianum, provides additional floral resources for insect pollinators. We predicted that the presence of flowering guava would indirectly and negatively affect the reproductive success of the endemic plant Bertiera zaluzania, which has similar flowers, by diverting shared pollinators. We removed P. cattleianum flowers within a 5-m radius from around half the B. zaluzania target plants (treatment) and left P. cattleianum flowers intact around the other half (control). By far, the most abundant and shared pollinator was the introduced honey bee, Apis mellifera, but its visitation rates to treatment and control plants were similar. Likewise, fruit and seed set and fruit size and weight of B. zaluzania were not influenced by the presence of P. cattleianum flowers. Although other studies have shown small-scale effects of alien plant species on neighbouring natives, we found no evidence for such negative indirect interactions in our system. The dominance of introduced, established A. mellifera indicates their replacement of native insect flower visitors and their function as pollinators of native plant species. However, the pollination effectiveness of A. mellifera in comparison to native pollinators is unknown.

  20. Shifts in the Midgut/Pyloric Microbiota Composition within a Honey Bee Apiary throughout a Season

    OpenAIRE

    Ludvigsen, Jane; Rangberg, Anbjørg; Avershina, Ekaterina; Sekelja, Monika; Kreibich, Claus; Amdam, Gro; Rudi, Knut

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are prominent crop pollinators and are, thus, important for effective food production. The honey bee gut microbiota is mainly host specific, with only a few species being shared with other insects. It currently remains unclear how environmental/dietary conditions affect the microbiota within a honey bee population over time. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to characterize the composition of the midgut/pyloric microbiota of a honey bee apiary throughout ...

  1. Orchid bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) community from a gallery forest in the Brazilian Cerrado

    OpenAIRE

    Francinaldo S Silva

    2012-01-01

    The orchid bees are a very important group of pollinators distributed in the Neotropics. Although a lot of studies concerning male euglossine bees have been done in this region, few works have so far been carried out in the Cerrado biome. This manuscript has the main objective to present the orchid bee community from a Gallery Forest in the Northeastern Brazilian Cerrado landscape, taking account the species composition, abundance, seasonality and hourly distribution. Male euglossine bees wer...

  2. Bumble Bees (Bombus terrestris) use mechanosensory hairs to detect electric fields

    OpenAIRE

    Sutton Gregory; Whitney Heather; Clarke Dominic; Robert Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Bees and flowers have an intricate relationship which benefits both organisms. Plants provide nectar bees, in turn, distribute pollen to fertilize plants. To make pollination work, flowers need a mechanism to incentivize individual bees to visit only a single species of flower. Flowers, like modern advertising agencies, use multiple senses to create a floral ‘brand’ that is easily recognized. Size, smell, colour, touch, and even temperature are used to allow bees to differentiate between flow...

  3. Seed coating with a neonicotinoid insecticide negatively affects wild bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rundlöf, Maj; Andersson, Georg K S; Bommarco, Riccardo; Fries, Ingemar; Hederström, Veronica; Herbertsson, Lina; Jonsson, Ove; Klatt, Björn K; Pedersen, Thorsten R; Yourstone, Johanna; Smith, Henrik G

    2015-05-01

    Understanding the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on bees is vital because of reported declines in bee diversity and distribution and the crucial role bees have as pollinators in ecosystems and agriculture. Neonicotinoids are suspected to pose an unacceptable risk to bees, partly because of their systemic uptake in plants, and the European Union has therefore introduced a moratorium on three neonicotinoids as seed coatings in flowering crops that attract bees. The moratorium has been criticized for being based on weak evidence, particularly because effects have mostly been measured on bees that have been artificially fed neonicotinoids. Thus, the key question is how neonicotinoids influence bees, and wild bees in particular, in real-world agricultural landscapes. Here we show that a commonly used insecticide seed coating in a flowering crop can have serious consequences for wild bees. In a study with replicated and matched landscapes, we found that seed coating with Elado, an insecticide containing a combination of the neonicotinoid clothianidin and the non-systemic pyrethroid β-cyfluthrin, applied to oilseed rape seeds, reduced wild bee density, solitary bee nesting, and bumblebee colony growth and reproduction under field conditions. Hence, such insecticidal use can pose a substantial risk to wild bees in agricultural landscapes, and the contribution of pesticides to the global decline of wild bees may have been underestimated. The lack of a significant response in honeybee colonies suggests that reported pesticide effects on honeybees cannot always be extrapolated to wild bees. PMID:25901681

  4. Pollinator limitation on reproductive success in Iris tuberosa

    OpenAIRE

    Pellegrino, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    Variation in plant and floral size can have conflicting effects on pollination and fruit production in flowering plants. This research examines the contributions of plant height, flower size and pollinator visitation to reproductive success in four populations of Iris tuberosa. The plants were pollinated exclusively by hymenopteran species, primarily during sunny days. Pollination supplementation increased the proportion of flowers that matured into fruit, with 95 % fruit set for hand-pollina...

  5. Competition for pollinators and intracommunal spectral dissimilarity of flowers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Kooi, C. J.; Pen, I.; Staal, M.; Stavenga, D. G.; Elzenga, J.T.M.

    2015-01-01

    Competition for pollinators occurs when in a community of flowering plants several simultaneously flowering plant species depend on the same pollinator. Competition for pollinators increases interspecific pollen transfer rates, thereby reducing the number of viable offspring. In order to decrease in

  6. Reversing insect pollinator decline

    OpenAIRE

    Potts, Simon; Wentworth, Jonathan

    2013-01-01

    Pollination by insects enables the reproduction of flowering plants and is critical to UK agriculture.1 Insect pollinators have declined globally, with implications for food security and wild habitats. This POSTnote summarises the causes for the recent trends, gaps in knowledge and possible strategies for reversing pollinator decline.

  7. Syrphid fly pollination of Guihaiothamnus acaulis (Rubiaceae),a species with “butterfly” flowers

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Pei-Wu XIE; Zhong-Lai LUO; Dian-Xiang ZHANG

    2013-01-01

    The utility of pollination syndromes in predicting pollinators has been controversial.Flowers of Guihaiothamnus acaulis are tubular and vivid in color,indicating that butterflies might be the dominant pollinators of this species,based on the theory of pollination syndromes.To test this prediction,observations on the floral biology,pollinator behaviors,and breeding system were carried out in two wild populations.The results showed that diurnal and protandrous flowers of G.acaulis could last 7 10 days,and this species was self-incompatible.Thus,the fruit set was pollinator-dependent.In addition,pollen-consuming hoverflies and halictid bees were identified as the major pollinators of G.acaulis; butterflies were recorded as visiting the flower only once.The expanded corolla throat,massive pollen per flower,and high floral longevity suggest that G.acaulis had experienced the process of pollinator shift.Our results indicated that the actual pollinating fauna of plants were determined by complex factors including floral syndromes,the availability of pollinators,and historical adaptation to habitat.Pollination syndromes should be used carefullv to predict pollinators of a particular flowering plant species.

  8. Wing Shape of Four New Bee Fossils (Hymenoptera: Anthophila) Provides Insights to Bee Evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Dehon, Manuel; Michez, Denis; Nel, André; Engel, Michael S.; De Meulemeester, Thibaut

    2014-01-01

    Bees (Anthophila) are one of the major groups of angiosperm-pollinating insects and accordingly are widely studied in both basic and applied research, for which it is essential to have a clear understanding of their phylogeny, and evolutionary history. Direct evidence of bee evolutionary history has been hindered by a dearth of available fossils needed to determine the timing and tempo of their diversification, as well as episodes of extinction. Here we describe four new compression fossils o...

  9. The potential for indirect effects between co-flowering plants via shared pollinators depends on resource abundance, accessibility and relatedness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalheiro, Luísa Gigante; Biesmeijer, Jacobus Christiaan; Benadi, Gita; Fründ, Jochen; Stang, Martina; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Kaiser-Bunbury, Christopher N; Baude, Mathilde; Gomes, Sofia I F; Merckx, Vincent; Baldock, Katherine C R; Bennett, Andrew T D; Boada, Ruth; Bommarco, Riccardo; Cartar, Ralph; Chacoff, Natacha; Dänhardt, Juliana; Dicks, Lynn V; Dormann, Carsten F; Ekroos, Johan; Henson, Kate S E; Holzschuh, Andrea; Junker, Robert R; Lopezaraiza-Mikel, Martha; Memmott, Jane; Montero-Castaño, Ana; Nelson, Isabel L; Petanidou, Theodora; Power, Eileen F; Rundlöf, Maj; Smith, Henrik G; Stout, Jane C; Temitope, Kehinde; Tscharntke, Teja; Tscheulin, Thomas; Vilà, Montserrat; Kunin, William E

    2014-11-01

    Co-flowering plant species commonly share flower visitors, and thus have the potential to influence each other's pollination. In this study we analysed 750 quantitative plant-pollinator networks from 28 studies representing diverse biomes worldwide. We show that the potential for one plant species to influence another indirectly via shared pollinators was greater for plants whose resources were more abundant (higher floral unit number and nectar sugar content) and more accessible. The potential indirect influence was also stronger between phylogenetically closer plant species and was independent of plant geographic origin (native vs. non-native). The positive effect of nectar sugar content and phylogenetic proximity was much more accentuated for bees than for other groups. Consequently, the impact of these factors depends on the pollination mode of plants, e.g. bee or fly pollinated. Our findings may help predict which plant species have the greatest importance in the functioning of plant-pollination networks. PMID:25167890

  10. Utilização de agentes polinizadores na produção de sementes de cenoura e pimenta doce em cultivo protegido Influence of pollinators on seed production and quality of carrot and sweet pepper in a greenhouse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Warley Marcos Nascimento

    2012-09-01

    the greenhouse. In the sweet pepper study, the following treatments were used: pollination with Arapuá (Trigona spinipes bees, Jataí (Tetragonisca angustula bees, Marmelada (Frieseomellita varia bees, hand pollination and free (self fertilization. The use of Jataí and Tibuna bees showed a great potential for carrot seed production in greenhouse conditions. For the production of sweet pepper seeds the use of pollinators is not necessary, but the presence of these agents increases the fruit weight. The physiological seed quality of both species was not influenced by different types of pollination.

  11. A temporal dimension to the influence of pollen rewards on bee behaviour and fecundity in Aloe tenuior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffy, Karl J; Johnson, Steven D; Peter, Craig I

    2014-01-01

    The net effect of pollen production on fecundity in plants can range from negative--when self-pollen interferes with fecundity due to incompatibility mechanisms, to positive--when pollen availability is associated with increased pollinator visitation and fecundity due to its utilization as a reward. We investigated the responses of bees to pollen and nectar rewards, and the effects of these rewards on pollen deposition and fecundity in the hermaphroditic succulent shrub Aloe tenuior. Self-pollinated plants failed to set fruit, but their ovules were regularly penetrated by self-pollen tubes, which uniformly failed to develop into seeds as expected from ovarian self-incompatibility (or strong early inbreeding depression). Bees consistently foraged for pollen during the morning and early afternoon, but switched to nectar in the late afternoon. As a consequence of this differential foraging, we were able to test the relative contribution to fecundity of pollen- versus nectar-collecting flower visitors. We exposed emasculated and intact flowers in either the morning or late afternoon to foraging bees and showed that emasculation reduced pollen deposition by insects in the morning, but had little effect in the afternoon. Despite the potential for self-pollination to result in ovule discounting due to late-acting self-sterility, fecundity was severely reduced in artificially emasculated plants. Although there were temporal fluctuations in reward preference, most bee visits were for pollen rewards. Therefore the benefit of providing pollen that is accessible to bee foragers outweighs any potential costs to fitness in terms of gender interference in this species. PMID:24755611

  12. The modularity of pollination networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olesen, Jens Mogens; Bascompte, J.; Dupont, Yoko;

    2007-01-01

    consist of strongly connected species. The importance of modularity has been discussed for a long time, but no consensus on its prevalence in ecological networks has yet been reached. Progress is hampered by inadequate methods and a lack of large datasets. We analyzed 51 pollination networks including...... almost 10,000 species and 20,000 links and tested for modularity by using a recently developed simulated annealing algorithm. All networks with >150 plant and pollinator species were modular, whereas networks with <50 species were never modular. Both module number and size increased with species number...

  13. Floral scent and pollinators of the holoparasite Pilostyles thurberi (Apodanthaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sedonia D Sipes

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Floral scent is likely important to the pollination of parasitic plants, despite that it has not been well-studied. We studied the pollination ecology of the North American stem holoparasite Pilostyles thurberi (Apodanthaceae at two field sites in Texas. To identify effective pollinators, we collected floral visitors to P. thurberi flowers, observed their foraging behavior, and looked for P. thurberi pollen on their bodies. Augochloropsis metallica bees (Halictidae and eumenine potter wasps (Vespidae were pollinators. P. thurberi flowers are visually inconspicuous but produce a strong fruity fragrance. GC/MS analysis of whole floral extracts and dynamic headspace samples revealed the fragrance to be an unusually simple bouquet of raspberry ketone and several eugenols. Comparison of scent profiles to those from uninfected host plants (Dalea formosa allowed putative separation of parasite and host volatiles. This is the first report of the constituents of floral fragrance in Apodanthaceae.

  14. A Strong Immune Response in Young Adult Honeybees Masks Their Increased Susceptibility to Infection Compared to Older Bees

    OpenAIRE

    Bull, James C.; Ryabov, Eugene V.; Gill Prince; Andrew Mead; Cunjin Zhang; Baxter, Laura A.; Pell, Judith K.; Osborne, Juliet L; Dave Chandler

    2012-01-01

    Honeybees, Apis mellifera, show age-related division of labor in which young adults perform maintenance ("housekeeping") tasks inside the colony before switching to outside foraging at approximately 23 days old. Disease resistance is an important feature of honeybee biology, but little is known about the interaction of pathogens and age-related division of labor. We tested a hypothesis that older forager bees and younger "house" bees differ in susceptibility to infection. We coupled an infect...

  15. A scientific note on Bombus (Psithyrus) insularis invasions of bumble bee nests and honey bee hives in the western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bumble bees (genus Bombus) are critical pollinators of flowering plants, yet some species are obligate social parasites that do little pollinating and reduce the fitness of the colonies they invade. In 2012 we observed an outbreak of the parasitic Bombus insularis in the Cache Valley of Northern Ut...

  16. The bee microbiome: Impact on bee health and model for evolution and ecology of host-microbe interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, Philipp; Kwong, Waldan K.; McFrederick, Quinn; Anderson, Kirk E.; Barribeau, Seth Michael; Chandler, James Angus; Cornman, Robert S.; Dainat, Jacques; de Miranda, Joachim R.; Doublet, Vincent; Emery, Olivier; Evans, Jay D.; Farinelli, Laurent; Flenniken, Michelle L.; Granberg, Fredrik; Grasis, Juris A.; Gauthier, Laurent; Hayer, Juliette; Koch, Hauke; Kocher, Sarah; Martinson, Vincent G.; Moran, Nancy; Munoz-Torres, Monica; Newton, Irene; Paxton, Robert J.; Powell, Eli; Sadd, Ben M.; Schmid-Hempel, Paul; Schmid-Hempel, Regula; Song, Se Jin; Schwarz, Ryan S.; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Dainat, Benjamin

    2016-01-01

    As pollinators, bees are cornerstones for terrestrial ecosystem stability and key components in agricultural productivity. All animals, including bees, are associated with a diverse community of microbes, commonly referred to as the microbiome. The bee microbiome is likely to be a crucial factor affecting host health. However, with the exception of a few pathogens, the impacts of most members of the bee microbiome on host health are poorly understood. Further, the evolutionary and ecological forces that shape and change the microbiome are unclear. Here, we discuss recent progress in our understanding of the bee microbiome, and we present challenges associated with its investigation. We conclude that global coordination of research efforts is needed to fully understand the complex and highly dynamic nature of the interplay between the bee microbiome, its host, and the environment. High-throughput sequencing technologies are ideal for exploring complex biological systems, including host-microbe interactions. To maximize their value and to improve assessment of the factors affecting bee health, sequence data should be archived, curated, and analyzed in ways that promote the synthesis of different studies. To this end, the BeeBiome consortium aims to develop an online database which would provide reference sequences, archive metadata, and host analytical resources. The goal would be to support applied and fundamental research on bees and their associated microbes and to provide a collaborative framework for sharing primary data from different research programs, thus furthering our understanding of the bee microbiome and its impact on pollinator health.

  17. The Bee Microbiome: Impact on Bee Health and Model for Evolution and Ecology of Host-Microbe Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, Philipp; Kwong, Waldan K; McFrederick, Quinn; Anderson, Kirk E; Barribeau, Seth Michael; Chandler, James Angus; Cornman, R Scott; Dainat, Jacques; de Miranda, Joachim R; Doublet, Vincent; Emery, Olivier; Evans, Jay D; Farinelli, Laurent; Flenniken, Michelle L; Granberg, Fredrik; Grasis, Juris A; Gauthier, Laurent; Hayer, Juliette; Koch, Hauke; Kocher, Sarah; Martinson, Vincent G; Moran, Nancy; Munoz-Torres, Monica; Newton, Irene; Paxton, Robert J; Powell, Eli; Sadd, Ben M; Schmid-Hempel, Paul; Schmid-Hempel, Regula; Song, Se Jin; Schwarz, Ryan S; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Dainat, Benjamin

    2016-01-01

    As pollinators, bees are cornerstones for terrestrial ecosystem stability and key components in agricultural productivity. All animals, including bees, are associated with a diverse community of microbes, commonly referred to as the microbiome. The bee microbiome is likely to be a crucial factor affecting host health. However, with the exception of a few pathogens, the impacts of most members of the bee microbiome on host health are poorly understood. Further, the evolutionary and ecological forces that shape and change the microbiome are unclear. Here, we discuss recent progress in our understanding of the bee microbiome, and we present challenges associated with its investigation. We conclude that global coordination of research efforts is needed to fully understand the complex and highly dynamic nature of the interplay between the bee microbiome, its host, and the environment. High-throughput sequencing technologies are ideal for exploring complex biological systems, including host-microbe interactions. To maximize their value and to improve assessment of the factors affecting bee health, sequence data should be archived, curated, and analyzed in ways that promote the synthesis of different studies. To this end, the BeeBiome consortium aims to develop an online database which would provide reference sequences, archive metadata, and host analytical resources. The goal would be to support applied and fundamental research on bees and their associated microbes and to provide a collaborative framework for sharing primary data from different research programs, thus furthering our understanding of the bee microbiome and its impact on pollinator health. PMID:27118586

  18. The Bee Microbiome: Impact on Bee Health and Model for Evolution and Ecology of Host-Microbe Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwong, Waldan K.; McFrederick, Quinn; Anderson, Kirk E.; Barribeau, Seth Michael; Chandler, James Angus; Cornman, R. Scott; Dainat, Jacques; Doublet, Vincent; Emery, Olivier; Evans, Jay D.; Farinelli, Laurent; Flenniken, Michelle L.; Granberg, Fredrik; Grasis, Juris A.; Gauthier, Laurent; Hayer, Juliette; Koch, Hauke; Kocher, Sarah; Martinson, Vincent G.; Moran, Nancy; Munoz-Torres, Monica; Newton, Irene; Paxton, Robert J.; Powell, Eli; Sadd, Ben M.; Schmid-Hempel, Paul; Schmid-Hempel, Regula; Schwarz, Ryan S.; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT As pollinators, bees are cornerstones for terrestrial ecosystem stability and key components in agricultural productivity. All animals, including bees, are associated with a diverse community of microbes, commonly referred to as the microbiome. The bee microbiome is likely to be a crucial factor affecting host health. However, with the exception of a few pathogens, the impacts of most members of the bee microbiome on host health are poorly understood. Further, the evolutionary and ecological forces that shape and change the microbiome are unclear. Here, we discuss recent progress in our understanding of the bee microbiome, and we present challenges associated with its investigation. We conclude that global coordination of research efforts is needed to fully understand the complex and highly dynamic nature of the interplay between the bee microbiome, its host, and the environment. High-throughput sequencing technologies are ideal for exploring complex biological systems, including host-microbe interactions. To maximize their value and to improve assessment of the factors affecting bee health, sequence data should be archived, curated, and analyzed in ways that promote the synthesis of different studies. To this end, the BeeBiome consortium aims to develop an online database which would provide reference sequences, archive metadata, and host analytical resources. The goal would be to support applied and fundamental research on bees and their associated microbes and to provide a collaborative framework for sharing primary data from different research programs, thus furthering our understanding of the bee microbiome and its impact on pollinator health. PMID:27118586

  19. Preliminary Sample of An Economic Analysis of Alternative Control Measures for Small Hive Beetle, Aethina tumida Murray on Honey Bee Colonies in Florida

    OpenAIRE

    Pompilus, Carolyn; Kanga, Lambert; Thomas, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Agriculture has historically depended on honey bees for crop pollination. About 220,000 out of an estimated 240,000 species of plants that depend on pollination have required animals such as the honey bee. For the last several decades, the numbers of managed honey bees have been declining due to infestations of the Small Hive Beetle, in managed hives. Infestations of SHB can threaten honey quality, native bee survival and pollination services. In 1998, it was estimated that Florida’s beekeepe...

  20. Increased tolerance and resistance to virus infections: a possible factor in the survival of Varroa destructor-resistant honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locke, Barbara; Forsgren, Eva; de Miranda, Joachim R

    2014-01-01

    The honey bee ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, has a world-wide distribution and inflicts more damage than all other known apicultural diseases. However, Varroa-induced colony mortality is more accurately a result of secondary virus infections vectored by the mite. This means that honey bee resistance to Varroa may include resistance or tolerance to virus infections. The aim of this study was to see if this is the case for a unique population of mite-resistant (MR) European honey bees on the island of Gotland, Sweden. This population has survived uncontrolled mite infestation for over a decade, developing specific mite-related resistance traits to do so. Using RT-qPCR techniques, we monitored late season virus infections, Varroa mite infestation and honey bee colony population dynamics in the Gotland MR population and compared this to mite-susceptible (MS) colonies in a close by apiary. From summer to autumn the deformed wing virus (DWV) titres increased similarly between the MR and MS populations, while the black queen cell virus (BQCV) and sacbrood virus (SBV) titres decreased substantially in the MR population compared to the MS population by several orders of magnitude. The MR colonies all survived the following winter with high mite infestation, high DWV infection, small colony size and low proportions of autumn brood, while the MS colonies all perished. Possible explanations for these changes in virus titres and their relevance to Varroa resistance and colony winter survival are discussed. PMID:24926792

  1. Increased tolerance and resistance to virus infections: a possible factor in the survival of Varroa destructor-resistant honey bees (Apis mellifera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Locke

    Full Text Available The honey bee ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, has a world-wide distribution and inflicts more damage than all other known apicultural diseases. However, Varroa-induced colony mortality is more accurately a result of secondary virus infections vectored by the mite. This means that honey bee resistance to Varroa may include resistance or tolerance to virus infections. The aim of this study was to see if this is the case for a unique population of mite-resistant (MR European honey bees on the island of Gotland, Sweden. This population has survived uncontrolled mite infestation for over a decade, developing specific mite-related resistance traits to do so. Using RT-qPCR techniques, we monitored late season virus infections, Varroa mite infestation and honey bee colony population dynamics in the Gotland MR population and compared this to mite-susceptible (MS colonies in a close by apiary. From summer to autumn the deformed wing virus (DWV titres increased similarly between the MR and MS populations, while the black queen cell virus (BQCV and sacbrood virus (SBV titres decreased substantially in the MR population compared to the MS population by several orders of magnitude. The MR colonies all survived the following winter with high mite infestation, high DWV infection, small colony size and low proportions of autumn brood, while the MS colonies all perished. Possible explanations for these changes in virus titres and their relevance to Varroa resistance and colony winter survival are discussed.

  2. Bumble bee colony dynamics: quantifying the importance of land use and floral resources for colony growth and queen production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crone, Elizabeth E; Williams, Neal M

    2016-04-01

    Bumble bee (Bombus) species are ecologically and economically important pollinators, and many species are in decline. In this article, we develop a mechanistic model to analyse growth trajectories of Bombus vosnesenskii colonies in relation to floral resources and land use. Queen production increased with floral resources and was higher in semi-natural areas than on conventional farms. However, the most important parameter for queen production was the colony growth rate per flower, as opposed to the average number of available flowers. This result indicates the importance of understanding mechanisms of colony growth, in order to predict queen production and enhance bumble bee population viability. Our work highlights the importance of interpreting bumble bee conservation efforts in the context of overall population dynamics and provides a framework for doing so. PMID:26913696

  3. Colonies of Bumble Bees (Bombus impatiens Produce Fewer Workers, Less Bee Biomass, and Have Smaller Mother Queens Following Fungicide Exposure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivia M. Bernauer

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Bees provide vital pollination services to the majority of flowering plants in both natural and agricultural systems. Unfortunately, both native and managed bee populations are experiencing declines, threatening the persistence of these plants and crops. Agricultural chemicals are one possible culprit contributing to bee declines. Even fungicides, generally considered safe for bees, have been shown to disrupt honey bee development and impair bumble bee behavior. Little is known, however, how fungicides may affect bumble bee colony growth. We conducted a controlled cage study to determine the effects of fungicide exposure on colonies of a native bumble bee species (Bombus impatiens. Colonies of B. impatiens were exposed to flowers treated with field-relevant levels of the fungicide chlorothalonil over the course of one month. Colony success was assessed by the number and biomass of larvae, pupae, and adult bumble bees. Bumble bee colonies exposed to fungicide produced fewer workers, lower total bee biomass, and had lighter mother queens than control colonies. Our results suggest that fungicides negatively affect the colony success of a native bumble bee species and that the use of fungicides during bloom has the potential to severely impact the success of native bumble bee populations foraging in agroecosystems.

  4. Colonies of Bumble Bees (Bombus impatiens) Produce Fewer Workers, Less Bee Biomass, and Have Smaller Mother Queens Following Fungicide Exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernauer, Olivia M; Gaines-Day, Hannah R; Steffan, Shawn A

    2015-01-01

    Bees provide vital pollination services to the majority of flowering plants in both natural and agricultural systems. Unfortunately, both native and managed bee populations are experiencing declines, threatening the persistence of these plants and crops. Agricultural chemicals are one possible culprit contributing to bee declines. Even fungicides, generally considered safe for bees, have been shown to disrupt honey bee development and impair bumble bee behavior. Little is known, however, how fungicides may affect bumble bee colony growth. We conducted a controlled cage study to determine the effects of fungicide exposure on colonies of a native bumble bee species (Bombus impatiens). Colonies of B. impatiens were exposed to flowers treated with field-relevant levels of the fungicide chlorothalonil over the course of one month. Colony success was assessed by the number and biomass of larvae, pupae, and adult bumble bees. Bumble bee colonies exposed to fungicide produced fewer workers, lower total bee biomass, and had lighter mother queens than control colonies. Our results suggest that fungicides negatively affect the colony success of a native bumble bee species and that the use of fungicides during bloom has the potential to severely impact the success of native bumble bee populations foraging in agroecosystems. PMID:26463198

  5. Contribution of pollinators to seed production as revealed by differential pollinator exclusion in Clerodendrum trichotomum (Lamiaceae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryota L Sakamoto

    Full Text Available A diverse assemblage of pollinators, such as bees, beetles, flies, and butterflies, will often visit a single plant species. However, evaluating the effect of several insects on fruit and seed production is difficult in plants visited by a variety of insects. Here, we analyzed the effect of three types of pollinators, Papilio spp., Macroglossum pyrrhosticta, and Xylocopa appendiculata on fruit and seed production in Clerodendrum trichotomum by using a flower visitor barrier experiment with nets of specific mesh sizes. As a result, fruit/flower and seed/ovule ratios were significantly lower under Papilio exclusion than under natural conditions. On the other hand, ratios were not significantly different between Papilio excluded and both Papilio and M. pyrrhosticta excluded treatments. Therefore, Papilio and X. appendiculata are effective pollinators, whereas M. pyrrhosticta, which was the most frequent visitor, of C. trichotomum, is not. From our observations of visiting behaviors, we believe that because M. pyrrhosticta probably promotes self- pollination, this species is a non-effective pollinator. This is the first study to separate and compare the contribution of various visitors to the reproductive success of a plant.

  6. Worldwide Alien Invasion: A Methodological Approach to Forecast the Potential Spread of a Highly Invasive Pollinator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acosta, André L; Giannini, Tereza C; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera L; Saraiva, Antonio M

    2016-01-01

    The ecological impacts of alien species invasion are a major threat to global biodiversity. The increasing number of invasion events by alien species and the high cost and difficulty of eradicating invasive species once established require the development of new methods and tools for predicting the most susceptible areas to invasion. Invasive pollinators pose serious threats to biodiversity and human activity due to their close relationship with many plants (including crop species) and high potential competitiveness for resources with native pollinators. Although at an early stage of expansion, the bumblebee species Bombus terrestris is becoming a representative case of pollinator invasion at a global scale, particularly given its high velocity of invasive spread and the increasing number of reports of its impacts on native bees and crops in many countries. We present here a methodological framework of habitat suitability modeling that integrates new approaches for detecting habitats that are susceptible to Bombus terrestris invasion at a global scale. Our approach did not include reported invaded locations in the modeling procedure; instead, those locations were used exclusively to evaluate the accuracy of the models in predicting suitability over regions already invaded. Moreover, a new and more intuitive approach was developed to select the models and evaluate different algorithms based on their performance and predictive convergence. Finally, we present a comprehensive global map of susceptibility to Bombus terrestris invasion that highlights priority areas for monitoring. PMID:26882479

  7. Worldwide Alien Invasion: A Methodological Approach to Forecast the Potential Spread of a Highly Invasive Pollinator.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    André L Acosta

    Full Text Available The ecological impacts of alien species invasion are a major threat to global biodiversity. The increasing number of invasion events by alien species and the high cost and difficulty of eradicating invasive species once established require the development of new methods and tools for predicting the most susceptible areas to invasion. Invasive pollinators pose serious threats to biodiversity and human activity due to their close relationship with many plants (including crop species and high potential competitiveness for resources with native pollinators. Although at an early stage of expansion, the bumblebee species Bombus terrestris is becoming a representative case of pollinator invasion at a global scale, particularly given its high velocity of invasive spread and the increasing number of reports of its impacts on native bees and crops in many countries. We present here a methodological framework of habitat suitability modeling that integrates new approaches for detecting habitats that are susceptible to Bombus terrestris invasion at a global scale. Our approach did not include reported invaded locations in the modeling procedure; instead, those locations were used exclusively to evaluate the accuracy of the models in predicting suitability over regions already invaded. Moreover, a new and more intuitive approach was developed to select the models and evaluate different algorithms based on their performance and predictive convergence. Finally, we present a comprehensive global map of susceptibility to Bombus terrestris invasion that highlights priority areas for monitoring.

  8. Large-Range Movements of Neotropical Orchid Bees Observed via Radio Telemetry

    OpenAIRE

    Wikelski, Martin; Moxley, Jerry; Eaton-Mordas, Alexander; Lopez-Uribe, Margarita M.; Holland, Richard; Moskowitz, David; Roubik, David W.; Kays, Roland

    2010-01-01

    Neotropical orchid bees (Euglossini) are often cited as classic examples of trapline-foragers with potentially extensive foraging ranges. If long-distance movements are habitual, rare plants in widely scattered locations may benefit from euglossine pollination services. Here we report the first successful use of micro radio telemetry to track the movement of an insect pollinator in a complex and forested environment. Our results indicate that individual male orchid bees (Exaerete frontalis) h...

  9. Predicting bee community responses to land-use changes: Effects of geographic and taxonomic biases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Palma, Adriana; Abrahamczyk, Stefan; Aizen, Marcelo A; Albrecht, Matthias; Basset, Yves; Bates, Adam; Blake, Robin J; Boutin, Céline; Bugter, Rob; Connop, Stuart; Cruz-López, Leopoldo; Cunningham, Saul A; Darvill, Ben; Diekötter, Tim; Dorn, Silvia; Downing, Nicola; Entling, Martin H; Farwig, Nina; Felicioli, Antonio; Fonte, Steven J; Fowler, Robert; Franzén, Markus; Goulson, Dave; Grass, Ingo; Hanley, Mick E; Hendrix, Stephen D; Herrmann, Farina; Herzog, Felix; Holzschuh, Andrea; Jauker, Birgit; Kessler, Michael; Knight, M E; Kruess, Andreas; Lavelle, Patrick; Le Féon, Violette; Lentini, Pia; Malone, Louise A; Marshall, Jon; Pachón, Eliana Martínez; McFrederick, Quinn S; Morales, Carolina L; Mudri-Stojnic, Sonja; Nates-Parra, Guiomar; Nilsson, Sven G; Öckinger, Erik; Osgathorpe, Lynne; Parra-H, Alejandro; Peres, Carlos A; Persson, Anna S; Petanidou, Theodora; Poveda, Katja; Power, Eileen F; Quaranta, Marino; Quintero, Carolina; Rader, Romina; Richards, Miriam H; Roulston, T'ai; Rousseau, Laurent; Sadler, Jonathan P; Samnegård, Ulrika; Schellhorn, Nancy A; Schüepp, Christof; Schweiger, Oliver; Smith-Pardo, Allan H; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Stout, Jane C; Tonietto, Rebecca K; Tscharntke, Teja; Tylianakis, Jason M; Verboven, Hans A F; Vergara, Carlos H; Verhulst, Jort; Westphal, Catrin; Yoon, Hyung Joo; Purvis, Andy

    2016-01-01

    Land-use change and intensification threaten bee populations worldwide, imperilling pollination services. Global models are needed to better characterise, project, and mitigate bees' responses to these human impacts. The available data are, however, geographically and taxonomically unrepresentative; most data are from North America and Western Europe, overrepresenting bumblebees and raising concerns that model results may not be generalizable to other regions and taxa. To assess whether the geographic and taxonomic biases of data could undermine effectiveness of models for conservation policy, we have collated from the published literature a global dataset of bee diversity at sites facing land-use change and intensification, and assess whether bee responses to these pressures vary across 11 regions (Western, Northern, Eastern and Southern Europe; North, Central and South America; Australia and New Zealand; South East Asia; Middle and Southern Africa) and between bumblebees and other bees. Our analyses highlight strong regionally-based responses of total abundance, species richness and Simpson's diversity to land use, caused by variation in the sensitivity of species and potentially in the nature of threats. These results suggest that global extrapolation of models based on geographically and taxonomically restricted data may underestimate the true uncertainty, increasing the risk of ecological surprises. PMID:27509831

  10. Dopamine and octopamine influence avoidance learning of honey bees in a place preference assay.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maitreyi Agarwal

    Full Text Available Biogenic amines are widely characterized in pathways evaluating reward and punishment, resulting in appropriate aversive or appetitive responses of vertebrates and invertebrates. We utilized the honey bee model and a newly developed spatial avoidance conditioning assay to probe effects of biogenic amines octopamine (OA and dopamine (DA on avoidance learning. In this new protocol non-harnessed bees associate a spatial color cue with mild electric shock punishment. After a number of experiences with color and shock the bees no longer enter the compartment associated with punishment. Intrinsic aspects of avoidance conditioning are associated with natural behavior of bees such as punishment (lack of food, explosive pollination mechanisms, danger of predation, heat, etc. and their association to floral traits or other spatial cues during foraging. The results show that DA reduces the punishment received whereas octopamine OA increases the punishment received. These effects are dose-dependent and specific to the acquisition phase of training. The effects during acquisition are specific as shown in experiments using the antagonists Pimozide and Mianserin for DA and OA receptors, respectively. This study demonstrates the integrative role of biogenic amines in aversive learning in the honey bee as modeled in a novel non-appetitive avoidance learning assay.

  11. How to be an attractive male: floral dimorphism and attractiveness to pollinators in a dioecious plant

    OpenAIRE

    Waelti Marc O; Page Paul A; Widmer Alex; Schiestl Florian P

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Background Sexual selection theory predicts that males are limited in their reproductive success by access to mates, whereas females are more limited by resources. In animal-pollinated plants, attraction of pollinators and successful pollination is crucial for reproductive success. In dioecious plant species, males should thus be selected to increase their attractiveness to pollinators by investing more than females in floral traits that enhance pollinator visitation. We tested the p...

  12. Foraging behavior of honey bees (hymenoptera: Apidae) on Brassica nigra and B. rapa grown under simulated ambient and enhanced UV-B radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Two species of mustard, Brassica nigra and B. rapa, were grown under simulated ambient and enhanced ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation and exposed to pollinators, Apis mellifera L. Observations were made to determine whether UV-B-induced changes in these plants affected pollinator behavior. Total duration of the foraging trip, number of flowers visited, foraging time per flower, search time per flower, total amount of pollen collected, and pollen collected per flower were measured. There were no significant differences between UV-B treatments in any of the behaviors measured or in any of the pollen measurements. These results suggest that increases in the amount of solar UV-B reaching the earth's surface may not have a negative effect on the relationship between these members of the genus Brassica and their honey bee pollinators. 28 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab

  13. Foraging behavior of honey bees (hymenoptera: Apidae) on Brassica nigra and B. rapa grown under simulated ambient and enhanced UV-B radiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Collins, S.A.; Robinson, G.E. [Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, IL (United States); Conner, J.K. [Univ. of Illinois, Champaign, IL (United States)

    1997-01-01

    Two species of mustard, Brassica nigra and B. rapa, were grown under simulated ambient and enhanced ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation and exposed to pollinators, Apis mellifera L. Observations were made to determine whether UV-B-induced changes in these plants affected pollinator behavior. Total duration of the foraging trip, number of flowers visited, foraging time per flower, search time per flower, total amount of pollen collected, and pollen collected per flower were measured. There were no significant differences between UV-B treatments in any of the behaviors measured or in any of the pollen measurements. These results suggest that increases in the amount of solar UV-B reaching the earth`s surface may not have a negative effect on the relationship between these members of the genus Brassica and their honey bee pollinators. 28 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab.

  14. Comparison of pollination and defensive buzzes in bumblebees indicates species-specific and context-dependent vibrations

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Luca, Paul A.; Cox, Darryl A.; Vallejo-Marín, Mario

    2014-04-01

    Bees produce vibrations in many contexts, including for defense and while foraging. Buzz pollination is a unique foraging behavior in which bees vibrate the anthers of flowers to eject pollen which is then collected and used as food. The relationships between buzzing properties and pollen release are well understood, but it is less clear to what extent buzzing vibrations vary among species, even though such information is crucial to understanding the functional relationships between bees and buzz-pollinated plants. Our goals in this study were (1) to examine whether pollination buzzes differ from those produced during defense, (2) to evaluate the similarity of buzzes between different species of bumblebees ( Bombus spp.), and (3) to determine if body size affects the expression of buzzing properties. We found that relative peak amplitude, peak frequency, and duration were significantly different between species, but only relative peak amplitude differed between pollination and defensive buzzes. There were significant interactions between species and buzz type for peak frequency and duration, revealing that species differed in their patterns of expression in these buzz properties depending on the context. The only parameter affected by body size was duration, with larger bees producing shorter buzzes. Our findings suggest that although pollination and defensive buzzes differ in some properties, variability in buzz structure also exhibits a marked species-specific component. Species differences in pollination buzzes may have important implications for foraging preferences in bumblebees, especially if bees select flowers best matched to release pollen for their specific buzzing characteristics.

  15. Euglossine bee communities in small forest fragments of the Atlantic Forest, Rio de Janeiro state, southeastern Brazil (Hymenoptera, Apidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Willian Moura Aguiar; Maria Cristina Gaglianone

    2012-01-01

    Euglossine bee communities in small forest fragments of the Atlantic Forest, Rio de Janeiro state, southeastern Brazil (Hymenoptera, Apidae). Euglossine bees are important pollinators in forests and agricultural areas. Although the structure of their communities is critically affected by anthropogenic disturbances, little is known about these bees in small forest fragments. The objectives of this study were to analyze the composition, abundance, and diversity of euglossine bee species in nine...

  16. Where have all the blue flowers gone: pollinator responses and selection on flower colour in New Zealand Wahlenbergia albomarginata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, D R; Bischoff, M; Lord, J M; Robertson, A W

    2012-02-01

    Although pollinators are thought to select on flower colour, few studies have experimentally decoupled effects of colour from correlated traits on pollinator visitation and pollen transfer. We combined selection analysis and phenotypic manipulations to measure the effect of petal colour on visitation and pollen export at two spatial scales in Wahlenbergia albomarginata. This species is representative of many New Zealand alpine herbs that have secondarily evolved white or pale flowers. The major pollinators, solitary bees, exerted phenotypic selection on flower size but not colour, quantified by bee vision. When presented with manipulated flowers, bees visited flowers painted blue to resemble a congener over white flowers in large, but not small, experimental arrays. Pollen export was higher for blue flowers in large arrays. Pollinator preference does not explain the pale colouration of W. albomarginata, as commonly hypothesized. Absence of bright blue could be driven instead by indirect selection of correlated characters. PMID:22151952

  17. Local and landscape effects on bee functional guilds in pigeon pea crops in Kenya

    OpenAIRE

    Otieno, Mark; Sidhu, C. Sheena; Woodcock, Ben A; Wilby, Andrew; Vogiatzakis, Ioannis N.; Mauchline, Alice L.; Mary W. Gikungu; Potts, Simon G.

    2015-01-01

    Pollinators face many challenges within agricultural systems due to landscape changes and intensification which can affect resource availability that can impact pollination services. This paper examines pigeon pea pollination and considers how landscape context and agricultural intensification in terms of pesticide use affects the abundance of bees characterized by species guilds on crops. The study was conducted on six paired farms across a gradient of habitat complexity based on the distanc...

  18. Pollinator conservation — the difference between managing for pollination services and preserving pollinator diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Senapathi, Deepa; Biesmeijer, J.C.; Breeze, T.; Kleijn, D.; Potts, S.G.; Carvalheiro, L.G.

    2015-01-01

    Our review looks at pollinator conservation and highlights the differences in approach between managing for pollination services and preserving pollinator diversity. We argue that ecosystem service management does not equal biodiversity conservation, and that maintaining species diversity is crucial

  19. Pyrodiversity begets plant-pollinator community diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponisio, Lauren C; Wilkin, Kate; M'Gonigle, Leithen K; Kulhanek, Kelly; Cook, Lindsay; Thorp, Robbin; Griswold, Terry; Kremen, Claire

    2016-05-01

    Fire has a major impact on the structure and function of many ecosystems globally. Pyrodiversity, the diversity of fires within a region (where diversity is based on fire characteristics such as extent, severity, and frequency), has been hypothesized to promote biodiversity, but changing climate and land management practices have eroded pyrodiversity. To assess whether changes in pyrodiversity will have impacts on ecological communities, we must first understand the mechanisms that might enable pyrodiversity to sustain biodiversity, and how such changes might interact with other disturbances such as drought. Focusing on plant-pollinator communities in mixed-conifer forest with frequent fire in Yosemite National Park, California, we examine how pyrodiversity, combined with drought intensity, influences those communities. We find that pyrodiversity is positively related to the richness of the pollinators, flowering plants, and plant-pollinator interactions. On average, a 5% increase in pyrodiversity led to the gain of approximately one pollinator and one flowering plant species and nearly two interactions. We also find that a diversity of fire characteristics contributes to the spatial heterogeneity (β-diversity) of plant and pollinator communities. Lastly, we find evidence that fire diversity buffers pollinator communities against the effects of drought-induced floral resource scarcity. Fire diversity is thus important for the maintenance of flowering plant and pollinator diversity and predicted shifts in fire regimes to include less pyrodiversity compounded with increasing drought occurrence will negatively influence the richness of these communities in this and other forested ecosystems. In addition, lower heterogeneity of fire severity may act to reduce spatial turnover of plant-pollinator communities. The heterogeneity of community composition is a primary determinant of the total species diversity present in a landscape, and thus, lower pyrodiversity may

  20. Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kessler, Sébastien C.; Tiedeken, Erin Jo; Simcock, Kerry L.; Derveau, Sophie; Mitchell, Jessica; Softley, Samantha; Stout, Jane C.; Wright, Geraldine A.

    2015-05-01

    The impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on insect pollinators is highly controversial. Sublethal concentrations alter the behaviour of social bees and reduce survival of entire colonies. However, critics argue that the reported negative effects only arise from neonicotinoid concentrations that are greater than those found in the nectar and pollen of pesticide-treated plants. Furthermore, it has been suggested that bees could choose to forage on other available flowers and hence avoid or dilute exposure. Here, using a two-choice feeding assay, we show that the honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, do not avoid nectar-relevant concentrations of three of the most commonly used neonicotinoids, imidacloprid (IMD), thiamethoxam (TMX), and clothianidin (CLO), in food. Moreover, bees of both species prefer to eat more of sucrose solutions laced with IMD or TMX than sucrose alone. Stimulation with IMD, TMX and CLO neither elicited spiking responses from gustatory neurons in the bees' mouthparts, nor inhibited the responses of sucrose-sensitive neurons. Our data indicate that bees cannot taste neonicotinoids and are not repelled by them. Instead, bees preferred solutions containing IMD or TMX, even though the consumption of these pesticides caused them to eat less food overall. This work shows that bees cannot control their exposure to neonicotinoids in food and implies that treating flowering crops with IMD and TMX presents a sizeable hazard to foraging bees.

  1. Use of diploid male frequency data as an indicator of pollinator decline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zayed, Amro; Roubik, David W; Packer, Laurence

    2004-02-01

    Pollination deficits in agricultural and natural systems are suggestive of large reductions in pollinator populations. However, actual declines are difficult to demonstrate using census data. Here, we show census data to be misleading because many abundant pollinators exhibit high levels of production of sterile diploid males usually found only in small inbred hymenopteran populations; Euglossa imperialis exhibits high levels of diploid male production induced by low effective population sizes (Ne approximately 15), despite being the most abundant orchid bee in lowland tropical forests in Panama. We caution that although some pollinators appear abundant on the basis of census data, their long-term persistence may be highly tenuous based on genetic evidence. We propose the use of diploid male frequency data as a metric for assessing the sustainability of bee populations. PMID:15101404

  2. Potential host number in cuckoo bees (Psithyrus subgen. increases toward higher elevations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Nicolas Pradervand

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available In severe and variable conditions, specialized resource selection strategies should be less frequent because extinction risks increase for species that depend on a single and unstable resource. Psithyrus (Bombus subgenus Psithyrus are bumblebee parasites that usurp Bombus nests and display inter‐specific variation in the number of hosts they parasitize. Using a phylogenetic comparative framework, we show that Psithyrus species at higher elevations display a higher number of hosts species compared with species restricted to lower elevations. Species inhabiting high elevations also cover a larger temperature range, suggesting that species able to occur in colder conditions may benefit from recruitment from populations occurring in warmer conditions. Our results provide evidence for an ‘altitudinal niche breadth hypothesis’ in parasitic species, showing a decrease in the parasites’ specialization along the elevational gradient, and also suggesting that Rapoport’s rule might apply to Psithyrus. 

  3. Insect Pollinators in Iowa Cornfields: Community Identification and Trapping Method Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Availability of mass flowering plants in landscapes dominated by agriculture can have a strong positive impact on the density of generalist, native pollinators. Row-crop production in Iowa accounts for 75% of the arable acres, with corn, Zea mays, representing the majority of hectares planted. To date, there has been no description of the insect pollinator community found within Iowa cornfields. We report a field study to determine the optimal sampling methodology to characterize the community of insect pollinators within cornfields. During 2012 and 2013, 3,616 insect pollinators representing 51 species were captured using bee bowls, and 945 individuals representing 10 species were captured using sticky cards. We examined the effects of trap type, height, and bowl color on the described community. Bee bowls captured a more abundant and species rich community than sticky cards with all species captured on sticky cards also present in bee bowls. Traps deployed at the height of the tassels describe a more abundant and species rich community of pollinators than traps at ear height (2x as many individuals) or ground height (4x as many individuals). Blue bowls captured more bees than white (2.75x as many individuals) or yellow bowls (3.5x as many individuals); and yellow bowls captured more flies than white (2x as many individuals) or blue (2.3x as many individuals). To provide the most complete description of the community of insect pollinators using cornfields as a resource, we suggest sampling-using bee bowls at the height of the tassels using all three bee bowl colors. PMID:27459648

  4. Insect Pollinators in Iowa Cornfields: Community Identification and Trapping Method Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheelock, M J; O'Neal, M E

    2016-01-01

    Availability of mass flowering plants in landscapes dominated by agriculture can have a strong positive impact on the density of generalist, native pollinators. Row-crop production in Iowa accounts for 75% of the arable acres, with corn, Zea mays, representing the majority of hectares planted. To date, there has been no description of the insect pollinator community found within Iowa cornfields. We report a field study to determine the optimal sampling methodology to characterize the community of insect pollinators within cornfields. During 2012 and 2013, 3,616 insect pollinators representing 51 species were captured using bee bowls, and 945 individuals representing 10 species were captured using sticky cards. We examined the effects of trap type, height, and bowl color on the described community. Bee bowls captured a more abundant and species rich community than sticky cards with all species captured on sticky cards also present in bee bowls. Traps deployed at the height of the tassels describe a more abundant and species rich community of pollinators than traps at ear height (2x as many individuals) or ground height (4x as many individuals). Blue bowls captured more bees than white (2.75x as many individuals) or yellow bowls (3.5x as many individuals); and yellow bowls captured more flies than white (2x as many individuals) or blue (2.3x as many individuals). To provide the most complete description of the community of insect pollinators using cornfields as a resource, we suggest sampling-using bee bowls at the height of the tassels using all three bee bowl colors. PMID:27459648

  5. Pollinator sharing and gene flow among closely related sympatric dioecious fig taxa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Gang; Cannon, Charles H; Chen, Jin

    2016-04-13

    Hybridization and insect pollination are widely believed to increase rates of plant diversification. The extreme diversity of figs (Ficus) and their obligate pollinators, fig wasps (Agaonidae), provides an opportunity to examine the possible role of pollinator-mediated hybridization in plant diversification. Increasing evidence suggests that pollinator sharing and hybridization occurs among fig taxa, despite relatively strict coevolution with the pollinating wasp. Using five sympatric dioecious fig taxa and their pollinators, we examine the degree of pollinator sharing and inter-taxa gene flow. We experimentally test pollinator preference for floral volatiles, the main host recognition signal, from different figs. All five fig taxa shared pollinators with other taxa, and gene flow occurred between fig taxa within and between sections. Floral volatiles of each taxon attracted more than one pollinator species. Floral volatiles were more similar between closely related figs, which experienced higher levels of pollinator sharing and inter-taxa gene flow. This study demonstrates that pollinator sharing and inter-taxa gene flow occurs among closely related sympatric dioecious fig taxa and that pollinators choose the floral volatiles of multiple fig taxa. The implications of pollinator sharing and inter-taxa gene flow on diversification, occurring even in this highly specialized obligate pollination system, require further study. PMID:27075252

  6. Pollinators foraging modifies nectar sugar composition in Helleborus foetidus (Ranunculaceae): an experimental test1

    OpenAIRE

    Canto, Azucena; Carlos M Herrera; Medrano, Mónica; Pérez, Ricardo; García, Isabel M.

    2008-01-01

    We experimentally tested the hypothesis that the extensive within-plant variation of nectar sugar composition in Helleborus foetidus (Ranunculaceae) and other species results from differences between flowers and nectaries in pollinator visitation history. Experiments were conducted to mimic single-nectary visits by wild-caught individuals of the main bee pollinators of H. foetidus, which were assayed for their capacity to modify the sugar composition of natural and artificial nectar. Experime...

  7. Floral symmetry genes and the origin and maintenance of zygomorphy in a plant-pollinator mutualism

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Wenheng; Kramer, Elena M.; Davis, Charles Cavender

    2010-01-01

    The evolution of floral zygomorphy is an important innovation in flowering plants and is thought to arise principally from specialization on various insect pollinators. Floral morphology of neotropical Malpighiaceae is distinctive and highly conserved, especially with regard to symmetry, and is thought to be caused by selection by its oil-bee pollinators. We sought to characterize the genetic basis of floral zygomorphy in Malpighiaceae by investigating CYCLOIDEA2-like (CYC2-like) genes, which...

  8. Nectar robbers pollinate flowers with sexual organs hidden within corollas in distylous Primula secundiflora (Primulaceae)

    OpenAIRE

    Zhu, Xing-Fu; Wan, Jin-Peng; Li, Qing-Jun

    2010-01-01

    Nectar robbers are thought rarely to pollinate flowers, especially those with sexual organs hidden within corollas. In this study, we examined whether robbers pollinate flowers of distylous Primula secundiflora. Distylous plants have two floral morphs. Pin flowers have long styles and short stamens, and thrum flowers have short styles and long stamens. Flowers of P. secundiflora were commonly robbed by bumble-bees, and robbing holes were always situated between high and low sexual organs for ...

  9. Comparative toxicity of pesticides to stingless bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Meliponini).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdovinos-Núñez, Gustavo Rafael; Quezada-Euán, José Javier G; Ancona-Xiu, Patricia; Moo-Valle, Humberto; Carmona, Angelica; Ruiz Sanchez, Esaú

    2009-10-01

    Stingless bees are potential pollinators of commercial tropical crops and their use may increase in the short term. However, studies comparing the toxicity of pesticides to different individuals and species are lacking, making it difficult to evaluate their short- and long-term effects on colonies and populations of these insects. In this work, we tested the lethality of compounds from the main pesticide groups on stingless bees of the species Melipona beecheii Bennett, Trigona nigra Provancher, and Nannotrigona perilampoides Cresson. The LDo (in micrograms per bee) for each pesticide was calculated for callow workers and foragers of the three species as well as for gynes and drones of M. beecheii. The results showed that all species were highly susceptible to the evaluated compounds. Nicotinoid pesticides were the most toxic, followed in descending order by permethrin, diazinon, and methomyl. We found evidence of a relationship between the body weight of the species and their LD50 for permethrin and methomyl (r = 0.91 and 0.90, respectively) but not for diazinon (r = -0.089). An analysis of contingency tables showed that within each species, callow workers had higher mortalities than foragers (P agriculture of Mexico and Latin America PMID:19886436

  10. Genetic diversity populations of the blue orchard bee (Osmia lignaria) in eastern and western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    The blue orchard bee (Osmia lignaria) is a native pollinator that is an excellent candidate to supplement the honeybee in agricultural settings. Genetic diversity of wild-caught bees from several locations in eastern and western USA is being measured with mitochondrial and nuclear DNA segments. Ther...

  11. Genetic diversity in populations of the blue orchard bee (Osmia lignaria)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The blue orchard bee (Osmia lignaria) is a native pollinator that is an excellent candidate to supplement the honeybee in agricultural settings. Genetic diversity of wild-caught bees from several locations in eastern and western USA is being measured across multiple mitochondrial and nuclear DNA seg...

  12. Evaluation of inflorescence visitors as pollinators of Echinacea angustifolia (Asteraceae): comparison of techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wist, Tyler J; Davis, Arthur R

    2013-10-01

    Inflorescences (heads or capitula) of the putative self-incompatible species, purple coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia (DC) Cronq. (Asteraceae)), were visited by insects representing the Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera, and Lepidoptera, in accordance with a generalist pollination syndrome. Measurement of the effectiveness of insect species as pollinators was accomplished by permitting solitary visits to receptive, central disc florets of virgin (previously bagged) heads. Four parameters were quantified: total stigmatic pollen load and proportion of pollen grains germinated, numbers of pollen tubes at style bases, and percentages of total receptive florets that had retracted (shrivelled) styles. Quantifying total and germinated pollen grains proved ineffective, partly owing to the tendency of self-pollen to initiate pollen tubes. The most effective pollinators were Apidae, especially bumble bees (Bombus spp.) and the European honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) (mean: 39 - 61% of styles retracted). Other noteworthy pollinators were cloudless sulfur butterflies (Phoebis sennae L.--Pieridae; mean 47% of style bases with pollen tubes), golden blister beetles (Epicauta ferruginea Say--Meloidae; 44%), and grasshopper bee flies (Systoechus vulgaris Loew--Bombyliidae; 22%). Sunflower leafcutter bees (Megachile pugnata Say) were less effective (4% of styles retracted). Promisingly, analysis of the proportion of retracted styles provided similar results to the established technique of pollen-tube quantification, but had the significant advantages of being completed more rapidly, without a microscope, and in the field. The quantitative technique of retracted-style analysis appears well suited for prompt measurement of inflorescence-visiting insects as pollinators of many asteraceans. PMID:24224247

  13. Using citizen science to monitor pollination services

    OpenAIRE

    Birkin, Linda; Goulson, Dave

    2015-01-01

    1. Pollination by insects is a vital ecosystem service and the need for its assessment is increasing in recognition and political pressure, but there are currently no large-scale systematic monitoring schemes in place to measure the direct provision of this service. 2. This study tested a protocol for using a citizen science approach to quantify pollination service provision in gardens and allotments, requiring participants to grow Vica faba L. plants and carry out some simple manipulation...

  14. Economic Evaluation of Pollination Services Comparing Coffee Landscapes in Ecuador and Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Schwarze

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity conservation through land-use systems on private land is becoming a pressing environmental policy issue. Agroforestry, such as shade-coffee production, contributes to biodiversity conservation. However, falling coffee prices force many coffee growers to convert their sites into economically more attractive land uses. We performed an economic evaluation of coffee pollination by bees in two distinct tropical regions: an area of low human impact with forests neighboring agroforestry in Indonesia and an area of high human impact with little remaining forest in Ecuador. We evaluated bee pollination for different forest-destruction scenarios, where coffee yields depend on forests to provide nesting sites for bees. We used two novel approaches. First, we examined how coffee net revenues depend on the pollination services of adjacent forests by considering berry weight in addition to fruit set, thereby providing a comprehensive evaluation. Second, we determined the net welfare effects of land-use changes, including the fact that former forestland is normally used for alternative crops. In both regions, crop revenues exceeded coffee pollination values, generating incentives to convert forests, even if owners would be compensated for pollination services. The promotion of certified "biodiversity-friendly" coffee is a feasible option to maintain shade-coffee systems. This is of special importance in high-impact areas where only small forest fragments remain. We conclude that a comprehensive economic analysis is necessary to adequately evaluate rainforest preservation for the enhancement of ecosystem services, such as pollination.

  15. First detection of viruses in Africanized honey bees from Peru

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Orlando; Yaez; Graciano; Tejada; Peter; Neumann

    2014-01-01

    <正>Dear Editor,The ability of the Western honey bee,Apis mellifera,to adapt to most climates of the world and the ongoing standardization of colony management has made this species of honey bees the most important species for crop pollination.In recent years,Peru emerged as a main exporter of industrial crops.This industry is mainly concentrated in the Peruvian coastal region,because the local climate permits off-season production

  16. Bees' subtle colour preferences: how bees respond to small changes in pigment concentration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papiorek, Sarah; Rohde, Katja; Lunau, Klaus

    2013-07-01

    Variability in flower colour of animal-pollinated plants is common and caused, inter alia, by inter-individual differences in pigment concentrations. If and how pollinators, especially bees, respond to these small differences in pigment concentration is not known, but it is likely that flower colour variability impacts the choice behaviour of all flower visitors that exhibit innate and learned colour preferences. In behavioural experiments, we simulated varying pigment concentrations and studied its impact on the colour choices of bumblebees and honeybees. Individual bees were trained to artificial flowers having a specific concentration of a pigment, i.e. Acridine Orange or Aniline Blue, and then given the simultaneous choice between three test colours including the training colour, one colour of lower and one colour of higher pigment concentration. For each pigment, two set-ups were provided, covering the range of low to middle and the range of middle to high pigment concentrations. Despite the small bee-subjective perceptual contrasts between the tested stimuli and regardless of training towards medium concentrations, bees preferred neither the training stimuli nor the stimuli offering the highest pigment concentration but more often chose those stimuli offering the highest spectral purity and the highest chromatic contrast against the background. Overall, this study suggests that bees choose an intermediate pigment concentration due to its optimal conspicuousness. It is concluded that the spontaneous preferences of bees for flower colours of high spectral purity might exert selective pressure on the evolution of floral colours and of flower pigmentation.

  17. Decadal trends in the pollinator assemblage of Eucryphia cordifolia in Chilean rainforests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith-Ramírez, Cecilia; Ramos-Jiliberto, Rodrigo; Valdovinos, Fernanda S; Martínez, Paula; Castillo, Jessica A; Armesto, Juan J

    2014-09-01

    Long-term studies of plant-pollinator interactions are almost nonexistent in the scientific literature. The objective of the present study was to determine changes and trends in the pollinator assemblage of ulmo (Eucryphia cordifolia; Cunoniaceae), a canopy-emergent tree found in Chilean temperate rainforests. We assessed the temporal variability of the pollinator assemblage and identified possible modulators of the observed temporal shifts. We sampled insect visitors to the flowers of 16 individual trees of E. cordifolia during 10 consecutive flowering seasons (2000-2009), recording a total of 137 pollinator species with a mean number of species per year of 44. Only three pollinator species (2.2%) were recorded every year. Two bee species accounted for 50% of all insect visits to flowers. One bee species, Bombus dahlbomii (native), was dominant in one season, whereas Apis mellifera (exotic) dominated during the next season. These interannual shifts in population abundances presented first-order dynamics that were characterized by oscillations with a period of 2 years. Changes in the abundances of the dominant pollinators, as well as differences in temperature and precipitation during insect emergence and flowering, led to a nested temporal structure of pollinator composition. Furthermore, the abundances of less common pollinators were sensitive to the abundance of the dominant bee species and to monthly maximum temperatures and the average precipitation during spring and summer. Based on our results and those from other studies, we predict a decline in the numbers of Bombus dahlbomii and nondominant native pollinators in response to new exotic arrivals. PMID:25001339

  18. INTERIM PROTOCOL FOR TESTING THE EFFECTS OF MICROBIAL PATHOGENS ON THE HONEY BEE, APIS MELLIFERA L. (HYMENOPTERA:APIDAE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Registration of Microbial Pest Control Agents (MPCAs) under Subsection M of the EPA Pesticide Assessment Guidelines requires that the susceptibility of nontarget species be tested. Honey bees as supplemental pollinators of many entomophilous crop species and as producers of honey...

  19. Genetic diversity affects colony survivorship in commercial honey bee colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarpy, David R.; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Pettis, Jeffrey S.

    2013-08-01

    Honey bee ( Apis mellifera) queens mate with unusually high numbers of males (average of approximately 12 drones), although there is much variation among queens. One main consequence of such extreme polyandry is an increased diversity of worker genotypes within a colony, which has been shown empirically to confer significant adaptive advantages that result in higher colony productivity and survival. Moreover, honey bees are the primary insect pollinators used in modern commercial production agriculture, and their populations have been in decline worldwide. Here, we compare the mating frequencies of queens, and therefore, intracolony genetic diversity, in three commercial beekeeping operations to determine how they correlate with various measures of colony health and productivity, particularly the likelihood of queen supersedure and colony survival in functional, intensively managed beehives. We found the average effective paternity frequency ( m e ) of this population of honey bee queens to be 13.6 ± 6.76, which was not significantly different between colonies that superseded their queen and those that did not. However, colonies that were less genetically diverse (headed by queens with m e ≤ 7.0) were 2.86 times more likely to die by the end of the study when compared to colonies that were more genetically diverse (headed by queens with m e > 7.0). The stark contrast in colony survival based on increased genetic diversity suggests that there are important tangible benefits of increased queen mating number in managed honey bees, although the exact mechanism(s) that govern these benefits have not been fully elucidated.

  20. Bee health

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lecocq, Antoine

    with a queen bee, based on their health status. Some of the methodological novelty, set-backs and preliminary results are discussed. In the fourth part, the thesis concludes by zooming out of the confines of the inner hive in order to address recent concerns regarding the potential spill-over of honey bee...

  1. Floral visitation by the Argentine ant reduces bee visitation and plant seed set.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanna, Cause; Naughton, Ida; Boser, Christina; Alarcón, Ruben; Hung, Keng-Lou James; Holway, David

    2015-01-01

    Ants often visit flowers, but have only seldom been documented to provide effective pollination services. Floral visitation by ants can also compromise plant reproduction in situations where ants interfere with more effective pollinators. Introduced ants may be especially likely to reduce plant reproductive success through floral visitation, but existing experimental studies have found little support for this hypothesis. Here, we combine experimental and observational approaches to examine the importance of floral visitation by the nonnative Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) on plant species native to Santa Cruz Island, California, USA. First, we determine how L. humile affects floral visitor diversity, bee visitation rates, and levels of pollen limitation for the common, focal plant species island morning glory (Calystegia macrostegia ssp. macrostegia). Second, we assess the broader ecological consequences of floral visitation by L. humile by comparing floral visitation networks between invaded and uninvaded sites. The Argentine ant and native ants both visited island morning glory flowers, but L. humile was much more likely to behave aggressively towards other floral visitors and to be the sole floral occupant. The presence of L. humile in morning glory flowers reduced floral visitor diversity, decreased rates of bee visitation, and increased levels of pollen limitation. Network comparisons between invaded and uninvaded. sites revealed differences in both network structure and species-level attributes. In. invaded sites, floral visitors were observed on fewer plant species, ants had a higher per-plant interaction strength relative to that of other visitors, and interaction strengths between bees and plants were weaker. These results illustrate that introduced ants can negatively affect plant reproduction and potentially disrupt pollination services at an ecosystem scale. PMID:26236907

  2. Neonicotinoid-Contaminated Puddles of Water Represent a Risk of Intoxication for Honey Bees

    OpenAIRE

    Olivier Samson-Robert; Geneviève Labrie; Madeleine Chagnon; Valérie Fournier

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, populations of honey bees and other pollinators have been reported to be in decline worldwide. A number of stressors have been identified as potential contributing factors, including the extensive prophylactic use of neonicotinoid insecticides, which are highly toxic to bees, in agriculture. While multiple routes of exposure to these systemic insecticides have been documented for honey bees, contamination from puddle water has not been investigated. In this study, we used a m...

  3. Assessing Insecticide Hazard to Bumble Bees Foraging on Flowering Weeds in Treated Lawns

    OpenAIRE

    Larson, Jonathan L.; Redmond, Carl T.; Potter, Daniel A.

    2013-01-01

    Maintaining bee-friendly habitats in cities and suburbs can help conserve the vital pollination services of declining bee populations. Despite label precautions not to apply them to blooming plants, neonicotinoids and other residual systemic insecticides may be applied for preventive control of lawn insect pests when spring-flowering weeds are present. Dietary exposure to neonicotinoids adversely affects bees, but the extent of hazard from field usage is controversial. We exposed colonies of ...

  4. Xenobiotic Effects on Intestinal Stem Cell Proliferation in Adult Honey Bee (Apis mellifera L) Workers

    OpenAIRE

    Cordelia Forkpah; Dixon, Luke R.; Fahrbach, Susan E.; Olav Rueppell

    2014-01-01

    The causes of the current global decline in honey bee health are unknown. One major group of hypotheses invokes the pesticides and other xenobiotics to which this important pollinator species is often exposed. Most studies have focused on mortality or behavioral deficiencies in exposed honey bees while neglecting other biological functions and target organs. The midgut epithelium of honey bees presents an important interface between the insect and its environment. It is maintained by prolifer...

  5. A Meta-Analysis of Effects of Bt Crops on Honey Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Jian J Duan; Michelle Marvier; Joseph Huesing; Galen Dively; Zachary Y Huang

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are the most important pollinators of many agricultural crops worldwide and are a key test species used in the tiered safety assessment of genetically engineered insect-resistant crops. There is concern that widespread planting of these transgenic crops could harm honey bee populations. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We conducted a meta-analysis of 25 studies that independently assessed potential effects of Bt Cry proteins on honey bee survival (or ...

  6. Colour processing in complex environments: insights from the visual system of bees

    OpenAIRE

    Dyer, Adrian G.; Paulk, Angelique C.; Reser, David H.

    2010-01-01

    Colour vision enables animals to detect and discriminate differences in chromatic cues independent of brightness. How the bee visual system manages this task is of interest for understanding information processing in miniaturized systems, as well as the relationship between bee pollinators and flowering plants. Bees can quickly discriminate dissimilar colours, but can also slowly learn to discriminate very similar colours, raising the question as to how the visual system can support this, or ...

  7. Risk to pollinators from the use of chlorpyrifos in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cutler, G Christopher; Purdy, John; Giesy, John P; Solomon, Keith R

    2014-01-01

    CPY is an organophosphorus insecticide that is widely used in North American agriculture. It is non-systemic, comes in several sprayable and granular formulations,and is used on a number of high-acreage crops on which pollinators can forage,including tree fruits, alfalfa, corn, sunflower, and almonds. Bees (Apoidea) are the most important pollinators of agricultural crops in North America and were the main pollinators of interest in this risk assessment.The conceptual model identified a number of potential exposure pathways for pollinators, some more significant than others. CPY is classified as being highly toxic to honey bees by direct contact exposure. However, label precautions and good agricultural practices prohibit application of CPY when bees are flying and/or when flowering crops or weeds are present in the treatment area. Therefore, the risk of CPY to pollinators through direct contact exposure should be small. The main hazards for primary exposure for honey bees are dietary and contact exposure from flowers that were sprayed during application and remain available to bees after application. The main pathways for potential secondary exposure to CPY is through pollen and nectar brought to the hive by forager bees and the sublethal body burden of CPY carried on forager bees. Foraging for other materials, including water or propolis, does not appear to be an important exposure route. Since adult forager honey bees are most exposed, their protection from exposure via pollen, honey, and contact with plant surfaces is expected to be protective of other life stages and castes of honey bees.Tier- I approaches to estimate oral exposure to CPY through pollen and nectar/honey, the principle food sources for honey bees, suggested that CPY poses a risk to honey bees through consumption of pollen and nectar. However, a Tier-2 assessment of concentrations reported in pollen and honey from monitoring work in North America indicated there is little risk of acute toxicity

  8. Pollinator Foraging Adaptation and Coexistence of Competing Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Revilla, Tomás A.; Křivan, Vlastimil

    2016-01-01

    We use the optimal foraging theory to study coexistence between two plant species and a generalist pollinator. We compare conditions for plant coexistence for non-adaptive vs. adaptive pollinators that adjust their foraging strategy to maximize fitness. When pollinators have fixed preferences, we show that plant coexistence typically requires both weak competition between plants for resources (e.g., space or nutrients) and pollinator preferences that are not too biased in favour of either plant. We also show how plant coexistence is promoted by indirect facilitation via the pollinator. When pollinators are adaptive foragers, pollinator’s diet maximizes pollinator’s fitness measured as the per capita population growth rate. Simulations show that this has two conflicting consequences for plant coexistence. On the one hand, when competition between pollinators is weak, adaptation favours pollinator specialization on the more profitable plant which increases asymmetries in plant competition and makes their coexistence less likely. On the other hand, when competition between pollinators is strong, adaptation promotes generalism, which facilitates plant coexistence. In addition, adaptive foraging allows pollinators to survive sudden loss of the preferred plant host, thus preventing further collapse of the entire community. PMID:27505254

  9. Do abundance and proximity of the alien Impatiens glandulifera affect pollination and reproductive success of two sympatric co-flowering native species?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne-Laure Jacquemart

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available In invasion ecology, potential impacts of aliens on native flora are still under debate. Our aim was to determine the pollinator mediated effects of both proximity and abundance of an alien species on the reproductive success of natives. We chose the highly invasive Impatiens glandulifera and two native species: Epilobium angustifolium and Aconitum napellus ssp. lusitanicum. These species share characteristics allowing for pollination interactions: similar biotopes, overlapping flowering periods and same main pollinators. The effects of abundance (5, 25 and 100 individuals and proximity (0 and 15 m of the alien on visitation rate, insect behaviour, pollen deposition and reproductive success of both natives were investigated during 2 flowering seasons. We used centred visitation rates as they can be directly interpreted as a positive or negative effect of the invasive.Both abundance and proximity of the alien increased bumblebee visitation rates to both natives. On the other hand, abundance of the exotic species had a slight negative effect on honeybee visits to natives while its proximity had no effect. The behaviour of bumblebees changed as visitors left significantly more often the native plants for I. glandulifera when its abundance increased. As a consequence of this “inconstancy”, bees deposited considerable quantities of alien pollen on native stigmas. Nevertheless, this interspecific pollen transfer did not decrease seed set in natives. Self-compatibility and high attractiveness of both native species probably alleviate the risk of altered pollinator services and reproductive success due to the invader in natural populations.

  10. Notes on the pollination ecology of the palm genus Johannesteijsmannia (Arecaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoke Mui Chan

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The floral biology and flower visitors of the tropical palms Johannesteijsmannia altifrons, J. magnifica and J. perakensis were investigated. We combined the data from this study with published data of J. lanceolata to give an overview of the reproductive biology and pollination system of the genus. Anthesis peaks from 0500–1100 hrs when the inflorescences are visited mainly by flies, beetles and stingless bees (Trigona, the last are potential pollinators. The breeding system is facultative selfing, indicating the ability of the species to reproduce in the absence of pollinators or in isolation.

  11. Potential pollinators and robbers: a study of the floral visitors of Heliconia angusta (Heliconiaceae and their behaviour

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hensen, Isabell

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Floral syndromes are traditionally thought to be associated with particular pollinator groups. Ornithophilous flowers tend to have traits that facilitate bird pollination such as having long, narrow, tubular corollas, often vivid coloration and diluted, sucrose-rich nectar. However, recent studies have shown that flowers attract a broader spectrum of visitors than might be expected. Furthermore, the classification of floral visitors as ‘robbers’ or ‘pollinators’ often is not as simple as it seems, as pollinators can at times act as robbers and vice versa. We studied the species composition, behaviour and ecology of floral visitors, including potential pollinators and robbers, of Heliconia angusta (Heliconiaceae, an endemic understorey herb of the Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil. In addition, the impact of the plant inflorescence attractiveness and of weather and light conditions on visitor abundance and frequency was investigated. Flower visitors were found to be scarce with a total of only 151 visits being observed during 120 h of field observations. A stingless bee species (Trigona sp. appeared to be the most abundant visitor to the ornithophilous flowers of H. angusta, along with four different species of hummingbirds and two species of butterflies. We consider Trigona sp. rather as pollen robber, but which still has the potential to be a secondary pollinator, whereas the hummingbirds were the principle legitimate visitors. Most flower visitors were recorded between 9.00 am and 1.00 pm with a higher number visiting under semi-shaded conditions than in full shade. Hummingbird numbers increased with flower abundance while the other visitor group numbers were not affected.

  12. Pollination, seed set and fruit quality in apple: studies with Osmia lignaria (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada

    OpenAIRE

    Cory Silas Sheffield

    2014-01-01

    The orchard crop pollinator Osmia lignaria (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) was evaluated for apple pollination in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada during 2000-2001. Resulting pollination levels (measured as pollen grains on floral stigmas), percent fruit set, mature fruit weight and seed yield were evaluated against an attempted gradient of Osmia bee density. In addition, fruit quality was assessed using two symmetry indices, one based on fruit diameter, the second on fruit height. Polli...

  13. Habitat assessment ability of bumble-bees implies frequency-dependent selection on floral rewards and display size

    OpenAIRE

    Biernaskie, Jay M; Gegear, Robert J

    2007-01-01

    Foraging pollinators could visit hundreds of flowers in succession on mass-flowering plants, yet they often visit only a small number—potentially saving the plant from much self-pollination among its own flowers (geitonogamy). This study tests the hypothesis that bumble-bee (Bombus impatiens) residence on a particular plant depends on an assessment of that plant's reward value relative to the overall quality experienced in the habitat. In a controlled environment, naive bees were given experi...

  14. Bumble Bees (Bombus terrestris use mechanosensory hairs to detect electric fields

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sutton Gregory

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Bees and flowers have an intricate relationship which benefits both organisms. Plants provide nectar bees, in turn, distribute pollen to fertilize plants. To make pollination work, flowers need a mechanism to incentivize individual bees to visit only a single species of flower. Flowers, like modern advertising agencies, use multiple senses to create a floral ‘brand’ that is easily recognized. Size, smell, colour, touch, and even temperature are used to allow bees to differentiate between flower species. Recently, a new sense has been found that is usable by bees to differentiate flowers, an ‘electric sense’: they can identify flowers based only on the flower’s electric field. This new sense provides a novel example of how flowers differentiate themselves to bees and has obvious implications for how bees and flowers interact with the electrical world around us. Bumble bees detect this electric field by using their body hairs, which bend in the presence of electric charge.

  15. Honey bee genotypes and the environment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Meixner, Marina D; Büchler, Ralph; Costa, Cecilia;

    2014-01-01

    Although knowledge about honey bee geographic and genetic diversity has increased tremendously in recent decades, the adaptation of honey bees to their local environment has not been well studied. The current demand for high economic performance of bee colonies with desirable behavioural...

  16. The influence of diversity changes of ecological conditions on the survival of honey bees%生态条件的多样性变化对蜜蜂生存的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    侯春生; 张学锋

    2011-01-01

    Honey bees are essential species of ecological chain which play an important role in pollination in the whole ecosystem. By far the most important contribution honey bees make to modem agriculture is the pollination services that they provide. Fifty-two of the 115 leading global food commodities depend on honey bee pollination for either fruit or seed set. Honey bee is the most ideal pollinator, and honey bee industry has played a vital role in maintenance of environment development and protection of ecological equilibrium. At present, propaganda should be vigorously carried out on the role of honey bee pollination in increasing agriculture production and protection of ecological equilibrium. Honey bees are a greatly valued resource all of the world. They are prized for their honey and wax production and depended upon for pollination of many important crops. While globally honey bee populations have been increasing, the rate of increase is not keeping pace with demand. Further, honey bee populations have not been increasing in all parts of the world, and have declined in many nations in Europe and in North America. In recent year,CCD has broken out many times in the global range, and the population number of honey bees has sharply declined, so the situation is worrisome. Managed honey bee populations are influenced by many factors including diseases, parasites, pesticides, the environment, and socio-economic factors. These factors can act alone or in combination with each other. Modern agriculture increasingly depends on the use of chemical substances to control weeds, fungi and arthropod pests to ensure high yields. Honey bees may frequently become exposed to environmental chemicals as a consequence of their foraging activities, and traditionally, the focus of pesticide regulations was more on protection of bees against direct poisoning. However, since the substances that are being used have changed, damage from acute toxicity is not the only threat to bees

  17. Large-range movements of neotropical orchid bees observed via radio telemetry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wikelski, Martin; Moxley, Jerry; Eaton-Mordas, Alexander; López-Uribe, Margarita M; Holland, Richard; Moskowitz, David; Roubik, David W; Kays, Roland

    2010-01-01

    Neotropical orchid bees (Euglossini) are often cited as classic examples of trapline-foragers with potentially extensive foraging ranges. If long-distance movements are habitual, rare plants in widely scattered locations may benefit from euglossine pollination services. Here we report the first successful use of micro radio telemetry to track the movement of an insect pollinator in a complex and forested environment. Our results indicate that individual male orchid bees (Exaerete frontalis) habitually use large rainforest areas (at least 42-115 ha) on a daily basis. Aerial telemetry located individuals up to 5 km away from their core areas, and bees were often stationary, for variable periods, between flights to successive localities. These data suggest a higher degree of site fidelity than what may be expected in a free living male bee, and has implications for our understanding of biological activity patterns and the evolution of forest pollinators. PMID:20520813

  18. Vertical and horizontal distribution of pollination systems in cerrado fragments of central Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernanda Quintas Martins

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available In fragments of the cerrado, we determined the frequency of pollination systems and analyzed their spatial distribution. We placed 38 transects, sampling 2,280 individuals and 121 species. As expected in Neotropical regions, bee-pollination was the most frequent pollination system. We found a decrease in the frequency of plants pollinated by beetles towards the fragment interior. Similarly, we found significant variation in relation to height just for the bats; there was an increase in the frequency of plants pollinated by bats towards the higher heights. In general, we found no horizontal and vertical variation in the pollination systems, probably as consequence of the more open physiognomy of the cerrado vegetation.As principais pressões seletivas nas estratégias de polinização originam principalmente do ambiente em que plantas ocorrem, como subdossel, dossel, borda ou interior de um fragmento. Diferentes condições ambientais aumentam as diferenças entre os nichos ecológicos e podem implicar diferenças nas proporções dos sistemas de polinização. Em fragmentos de cerrado, determinamos a freqüência dos sistemas de polinização e analisamos sua distribuição espacial. Lançamos 38 transecções aleatoriamente, amostrando 2.280 indivíduos e 121 espécies. Como esperado para regiões neotropicais, a polinização por abelhas foi o sistema de polinização mais freqüente. Encontramos uma diminuição na freqüência de plantas polinizadas por besouros em direção ao interior do fragmento. De modo similar, encontramos uma variação significativa em relação à altura somente para os morcegos, havendo um aumento na freqüência de plantas em direção a alturas mais altas. Em geral, não encontramos variações horizontais e verticais nos sistemas de polinização, provavelmente, como conseqüência da fisionomia mais aberta de cerrado.

  19. From dusk till dawn: nocturnal and diurnal pollination in the epiphyte Tillandsia heterophylla (Bromeliaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar-Rodríguez, P A; Krömer, T; García-Franco, J G; MacSwiney G, M C

    2016-01-01

    In order to compare the effectiveness of diurnal and nocturnal pollinators, we studied the reproductive biology and pollinators of Tillandsia heterophylla E. Morren, an epiphytic tank bromeliad endemic to southeastern Mexico. Since anthesis in T. heterophylla is predominantly nocturnal but lasts until the following day, we hypothesised that this bromeliad would receive visits from both diurnal and nocturnal visitors, but that nocturnal visitors would be the most effective pollinators, since they arrive first to the receptive flower, and that bats would be the most frequent nocturnal visitors, given the characteristics of the nectar. Flowering of T. heterophylla began in May and lasted until July. The species is fully self-compatible, with an anthesis that lasts for ca. 15-16 h. Mean volume of nectar produced per flower was 82.21 μl, with a mean sugar concentration of 6.33%. The highest volume and concentration of nectar were found at 20:00 h, with a subsequent decline in both to almost zero over the following 12-h period. T. heterophylla has a generalist pollination system, since at least four different morphospecies of visitors pollinate its flowers: bats, moths, hummingbirds and bees. Most of the pollinating visits corresponded to bats and took place in the early evening, when stigma receptivity had already begun; making bats the probable pollinator on most occasions. However, diurnal pollinators may be important as a 'fail-safe' system by which to guarantee the pollination of T. heterophylla. PMID:25683682

  20. Effect of oral infection with Kashmir bee virus and Israeli acute paralysis virus on bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) reproductive success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meeus, Ivan; de Miranda, Joachim R; de Graaf, Dirk C; Wäckers, Felix; Smagghe, Guy

    2014-09-01

    Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) together with Acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV) and Kashmir bee virus (KBV) constitute a complex of closely related dicistroviruses. They are infamous for their high mortality after injection in honeybees. These viruses have also been reported in non-Apis hymenopteran pollinators such as bumblebees, which got infected with IAPV when placed in the same greenhouse with IAPV infected honeybee hives. Here we orally infected Bombus terrestris workers with different doses of either IAPV or KBV viral particles. The success of the infection was established by analysis of the bumblebees after the impact studies: 50days after infection. Doses of 0.5×10(7) and 1×10(7) virus particles per bee were infectious over this period, for IAPV and KBV respectively, while a dose of 0.5×10(6) IAPV particles per bee was not infectious. The impact of virus infection was studied in micro-colonies consisting of 5 bumblebees, one of which becomes a pseudo-queen which proceeds to lay unfertilized (drone) eggs. The impact parameters studied were: the establishment of a laying pseudo-queen, the timing of egg-laying, the number of drones produced, the weight of these drones and worker mortality. In this setup KBV infection resulted in a significant slower colony startup and offspring production, while only the latter can be reported for IAPV. Neither virus increased worker mortality, at the oral doses used. We recommend further studies on how these viruses transmit between different pollinator species. It is also vital to understand how viral prevalence can affect wild bee populations because disturbance of the natural host-virus association may deteriorate the already critically endangered status of many bumblebee species. PMID:25004171

  1. Erratic pollination, high selfing levels and their correlates and consequences in an altitudinally widespread above-tree-line species in the high Andes of Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arroyo, Mary T. K.; Muñoz, María S.; Henríquez, Carolina; Till-Bottraud, Irène; Pérez, Fernánda

    2006-09-01

    Unfavorable temperatures and weather conditions for biotic pollination in above-tree-line alpine habitats predict self-compatibility, high levels of autogamy and small flower size ("autogamy reproductive assurance hypothesis"), or alternatively, compensatory measures such as greater flower longevity and larger display size so as to capture scarce visits and maintain outcrossing ("increased pollination probability hypothesis"). We assess these possibilities in a fine-tuned study of Chaetanthera euphrasioides (Asteraceae) populations located above-tree-line in the Andes of central Chile, where prior, independently obtained information on community flower visitation rates is available. Visitation by flies and Andrenid bees was highly erratic in all populations and among years, and the rates well below the community averages. We found evidence for high levels of self-compatibility, equally high autogamous potential, low genetic diversity and high and similar F IS in all populations studied, associated with no clear trends in floral morphology. Strong decoupling of C. euphrasioides reproductive biology with community-level pollinator availability in the alpine fails to support either of the above-mentioned hypotheses and suggests early acquisition of autogamy with present-day pollinator conditions being adequate to maintain low visitation rates at all elevations. Our study provides the only instance where alternative hypotheses on alpine breeding systems have been tested with prior access to independently quantified community-level flower visitation rates.

  2. Foraging responses of bumble bees to rewardless floral patches: importance of within-plant variance in nectar presentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Shoko; Kudo, Gaku

    2016-01-01

    Spatiotemporal variation in nectar distribution is a key factor affecting pollinator movements between flowers and plants within a population. Pollinators having systematic searching ability can flexibly respond to the reward condition of floral patches, and they tend to revisit rewarding patches. However, foraging behaviour may be influenced by the nectar distribution within populations. To evaluate the effects of unrewarding experiences and plant distribution, we compared bumble bee foraging behaviours between naturally rewarding and artificially rewardless (by nectary removal) patches in two aconite populations with different plant densities. Visitation frequency to the patches, number of successive flower visits within inflorescences, and successive inflorescence visits within patches were recorded. Nectar production and standing crop were also measured. Bumble bees increased the movements between neighbouring inflorescences instead of leaving the patches when they faced rewardless flowers. A large variance in nectar production existed among flowers within plants. This might explain the observed bumble bee behaviour, because they could be rewarded by moving to the adjacent inflorescences even after a rewardless experience. Our results imply that a highly variable nectar reward in a population might mask the disadvantage of completely rewardless individuals. PMID:27178064

  3. Effects of invasive plant species on pollinator service and reproduction in native plants at Acadia National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stubbs, C.J.; Drummond, F.; Ginsberg, H.

    2007-01-01

    the invasive. In fact, in one year fruit set of S. alba was significantly greater in the presence of L. salicaria. The number of invasive pollen grains on native stigmas was extremely low; on average less than one grain per stigma. These fruit set and pollen deposition findings indicate that native plant reproduction was not adversely affected in the short term by these invasive species and that therefore competition between the native and invasive species for pollinators did not occur. Native bee populations monitored in 2004-2005 at sites with and without B. thunbergii and/or F. alnus indicated a greater abundance of native bees at sites with these invasives present. Native bees collected from the native and invasive plants were compared with historical records to assess whether invasive plants favor different bee species than those that formerly predominated on Mount Desert Island. This does not appear to be the case. Several species of bumble bees (Bombus spp.) as well as nine solitary bee species were found that were not documented by the Procter surveys of 1917-1940. Collecting of native bees was limited to the study plants, which may, in part, explain why some bee species documented in the Procter Surveys were not found in the present research. A field guide for identification of native bumble bees has been produced to help Park Natural Resource personnel monitor the status of native bee populations in Acadia. Other educational materials were also developed, aimed at educating Park visitors by exposing them to: 1) the role of native plants and their bee pollinators in terrestrial ecosystems; 2) the effects of invasive plants on native plant-pollinator mutualisms; 3) the need for conserving native bees and other pollinators; and 4) conservation strategies for protecting and enhancing native plant-pollinator mutualisms in the Park. Based on the present findings, Acadia Park Resource Management personnel should continue to closely

  4. Assessing grooming behavior of Russian honey bees toward Varroa destructor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    The grooming behavior of Russian bees was compared to Italian bees. Overall, Russian bees had significantly lower numbers of mites than the Italian bees with a mean of 1,937 ± 366 and 5,088 ± 733 mites, respectively. This low mite population in the Russian colonies was probably due to the increased ...

  5. The mitochondrial genome of the stingless bee Melipona bicolor (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Meliponini): sequence, gene organization and a unique tRNA translocation event conserved across the tribe Meliponini

    OpenAIRE

    Daniela Silvestre; Mark Dowton; Maria Cristina Arias

    2008-01-01

    At present a complete mtDNA sequence has been reported for only two hymenopterans, the Old World honey bee, Apis mellifera and the sawfly Perga condei. Among the bee group, the tribe Meliponini (stingless bees) has some distinction due to its Pantropical distribution, great number of species and large importance as main pollinators in several ecosystems, including the Brazilian rain forest. However few molecular studies have been conducted on this group of bees and few sequence data from mito...

  6. Honey bee lines selected for high propolis production also have superior hygienic behavior and increased honey and pollen stores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicodemo, D; De Jong, D; Couto, R H N; Malheiros, E B

    2013-01-01

    Honey bees use propolis to defend against invaders and disease organisms. As some colonies produce much more propolis than others, we investigated whether propolis collecting is associated with disease resistance traits, including hygienic behavior and resistance to the parasitic bee mite, Varroa destructor. The three highest (HP) and three lowest propolis-producing (LP) colonies among 36 Africanized honey bee colonies were initially selected. Queens and drones from these colonies were crossed through artificial insemination to produce five colonies of each of the following crosses: HP♀ X HP♂, LP♀ X HP♂, HP♀ X LP♂, and LP♀ X LP♂. Colonies headed by HP♀ X HP♂ queens produced significantly more propolis than those with HP♀ X LP♂ and LP♀ X HP♂ queens and these in turn produced significantly more propolis than those headed by LP♀ X LP♂ queens. The brood cell uncapping rate of the high-propolis-producing colonies in the hygienic behavior test was significantly superior to that of the other groups. The LP X LP group was significantly less hygienic than the two HP X LP crosses, based on the evaluation of the rate of removal of pin-killed pupae. The HP X HP colonies were significantly more hygienic than the other crosses. No significant differences were found in mite infestation rates among the groups of colonies; although overall, colony infestation rates were quite low (1.0 to 3.2 mites per 100 brood cells), which could have masked such effects. Honey and pollen stores were significantly and positively correlated with propolis production. PMID:24391041

  7. The Abundance and Pollen Foraging Behaviour of Bumble Bees in Relation to Population Size of Whortleberry (Vaccinium uliginosum)

    OpenAIRE

    Mayer, Carolin; Michez, Denis; Chyzy, Alban; Brédat, Elise; Jacquemart, Anne-Laure

    2012-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation can have severe effects on plant pollinator interactions, for example changing the foraging behaviour of pollinators. To date, the impact of plant population size on pollen collection by pollinators has not yet been investigated. From 2008 to 2010, we monitored nine bumble bee species (Bombus campestris, Bombus hortorum s.l., Bombus hypnorum, Bombus lapidarius, Bombus pascuorum, Bombus pratorum, Bombus soroensis, Bombus terrestris s.l., Bombus vestalis s.l.) on Vaccinium...

  8. Bee Pollen

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Pollen Extract, Buckwheat Pollen, Extrait de Pollen d’Abeille, Honeybee Pollen, Honey Bee Pollen, Maize Pollen, Pine Pollen, Polen de Abeja, Pollen, Pollen d'Abeille, Pollen d’Abeille de Miel, Pollen de Sarrasin.

  9. Monitoring Flower Visitation Networks and Interactions between Pairs of Bumble Bees in a Large Outdoor Flight Cage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lihoreau, Mathieu; Chittka, Lars; Raine, Nigel E.

    2016-01-01

    Pollinators, such as bees, often develop multi-location routes (traplines) to exploit subsets of flower patches within larger plant populations. How individuals establish such foraging areas in the presence of other foragers is poorly explored. Here we investigated the foraging patterns of pairs of bumble bees (Bombus terrestris) released sequentially into an 880m2 outdoor flight cage containing 10 feeding stations (artificial flowers). Using motion-sensitive video cameras mounted on flowers, we mapped the flower visitation networks of both foragers, quantified their interactions and compared their foraging success over an entire day. Overall, bees that were released first (residents) travelled 37% faster and collected 77% more nectar, thereby reaching a net energy intake rate 64% higher than bees released second (newcomers). However, this prior-experience advantage decreased as newcomers became familiar with the spatial configuration of the flower array. When both bees visited the same flower simultaneously, the most frequent outcome was for the resident to evict the newcomer. On the rare occasions when newcomers evicted residents, the two bees increased their frequency of return visits to that flower. These competitive interactions led to a significant (if only partial) spatial overlap between the foraging patterns of pairs of bees. While newcomers may initially use social cues (such as olfactory footprints) to exploit flowers used by residents, either because such cues indicate higher rewards and/or safety from predation, residents may attempt to preserve their monopoly over familiar resources through exploitation and interference. We discuss how these interactions may favour spatial partitioning, thereby maximising the foraging efficiency of individuals and colonies. PMID:26982030

  10. Monitoring Flower Visitation Networks and Interactions between Pairs of Bumble Bees in a Large Outdoor Flight Cage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lihoreau, Mathieu; Chittka, Lars; Raine, Nigel E

    2016-01-01

    Pollinators, such as bees, often develop multi-location routes (traplines) to exploit subsets of flower patches within larger plant populations. How individuals establish such foraging areas in the presence of other foragers is poorly explored. Here we investigated the foraging patterns of pairs of bumble bees (Bombus terrestris) released sequentially into an 880m2 outdoor flight cage containing 10 feeding stations (artificial flowers). Using motion-sensitive video cameras mounted on flowers, we mapped the flower visitation networks of both foragers, quantified their interactions and compared their foraging success over an entire day. Overall, bees that were released first (residents) travelled 37% faster and collected 77% more nectar, thereby reaching a net energy intake rate 64% higher than bees released second (newcomers). However, this prior-experience advantage decreased as newcomers became familiar with the spatial configuration of the flower array. When both bees visited the same flower simultaneously, the most frequent outcome was for the resident to evict the newcomer. On the rare occasions when newcomers evicted residents, the two bees increased their frequency of return visits to that flower. These competitive interactions led to a significant (if only partial) spatial overlap between the foraging patterns of pairs of bees. While newcomers may initially use social cues (such as olfactory footprints) to exploit flowers used by residents, either because such cues indicate higher rewards and/or safety from predation, residents may attempt to preserve their monopoly over familiar resources through exploitation and interference. We discuss how these interactions may favour spatial partitioning, thereby maximising the foraging efficiency of individuals and colonies. PMID:26982030

  11. Monitoring Flower Visitation Networks and Interactions between Pairs of Bumble Bees in a Large Outdoor Flight Cage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathieu Lihoreau

    Full Text Available Pollinators, such as bees, often develop multi-location routes (traplines to exploit subsets of flower patches within larger plant populations. How individuals establish such foraging areas in the presence of other foragers is poorly explored. Here we investigated the foraging patterns of pairs of bumble bees (Bombus terrestris released sequentially into an 880m2 outdoor flight cage containing 10 feeding stations (artificial flowers. Using motion-sensitive video cameras mounted on flowers, we mapped the flower visitation networks of both foragers, quantified their interactions and compared their foraging success over an entire day. Overall, bees that were released first (residents travelled 37% faster and collected 77% more nectar, thereby reaching a net energy intake rate 64% higher than bees released second (newcomers. However, this prior-experience advantage decreased as newcomers became familiar with the spatial configuration of the flower array. When both bees visited the same flower simultaneously, the most frequent outcome was for the resident to evict the newcomer. On the rare occasions when newcomers evicted residents, the two bees increased their frequency of return visits to that flower. These competitive interactions led to a significant (if only partial spatial overlap between the foraging patterns of pairs of bees. While newcomers may initially use social cues (such as olfactory footprints to exploit flowers used by residents, either because such cues indicate higher rewards and/or safety from predation, residents may attempt to preserve their monopoly over familiar resources through exploitation and interference. We discuss how these interactions may favour spatial partitioning, thereby maximising the foraging efficiency of individuals and colonies.

  12. Orchid-pollinator interactions and potential vulnerability to biological invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chupp, Adam D; Battaglia, Loretta L; Schauber, Eric M; Sipes, Sedonia D

    2015-01-01

    Mutualistic relationships between plants and their pollinators have played a major role in the evolution of biodiversity. While the vulnerability of these relationships to environmental change is a major concern, studies often lack a framework for predicting impacts from emerging threats (e.g. biological invasions). The objective of this study was to determine the reliance of Platanthera ciliaris (orange-fringed orchid) on Papilio palamedes (Palamedes swallowtail butterfly) for pollination and the relative availability of alternative pollinators. Recent declines of P. palamedes larval host plants due to laurel wilt disease (LWD) could endanger P. ciliaris populations that rely heavily on this butterfly for pollination. We monitored pollinator visitation and fruit set and measured nectar spur lengths of P. ciliaris flowers and proboscis lengths of its floral visitors in Jackson County, MS, USA. Papilio palamedes was the primary visitor with minimal visitation by Phoebis sennae (cloudless sulfur butterfly). Lengths of P. ciliaris nectar spurs were similar to proboscis lengths of both pollinator species. Fruit set was moderate with access to pollinators (55 ± 10.8 %), yet failed (0 %) when pollinators were excluded. Visitation increased with inflorescence size, but there was no such pattern in fruit set, indicating that fruit set was not limited by pollinator visitation within the range of visitation rates we observed. Our results are supported by historical data that suggest P. palamedes and P. sennae are important pollinators of P. ciliaris. Although P. sennae may provide supplemental pollination service, this is likely constrained by habitat preferences that do not always overlap with those of P. cilaris. Observed declines of P. palamedes due to LWD could severely limit the reproductive success and persistence of P. ciliaris and similar orchid species populations. This empirical-based prediction is among the first to document exotic forest pests and pathogens as

  13. Degradation of soil fertility can cancel pollination benefits in sunflower.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamburini, Giovanni; Berti, Antonio; Morari, Francesco; Marini, Lorenzo

    2016-02-01

    Pollination and soil fertility are important ecosystem services to agriculture but their relative roles and potential interactions are poorly understood. We explored the combined effects of pollination and soil fertility in sunflower using soils from a trial characterized by different long-term input management in order to recreate plausible levels of soil fertility. Pollinator exclusion was used as a proxy for a highly eroded pollination service. Pollination benefits to yield depended on soil fertility, i.e., insect pollination enhanced seed set and yield only under higher soil fertility indicating that limited nutrient availability may constrain pollination benefits. Our study provides evidence for interactions between above- and belowground ecosystem services, highlighting the crucial role of soil fertility in supporting agricultural production not only directly, but also indirectly through pollination. Management strategies aimed at enhancing pollination services might fail in increasing yield in landscapes characterized by high soil service degradation. Comprehensive knowledge about service interactions is therefore essential for the correct management of ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes. PMID:26527463

  14. A Scientific Note on the Lactic Acid Bacterial Flora Discovered in the Honey Stomach of Swedish honey bees - a continuing study on honey bees in the U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beneficial bacteria have been found in honey stomachs of the honey bee, Apis mellifera; a unique flora that appears to have coevolved with the honey bees. The health of our most important pollinators has come into focus during the last few years, because of yet unexplained conditions and diseases t...

  15. Stimulation of flower nectar replenishment by removal: A survey of eleven animal-pollinated plant species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elaine Y Luo

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the interaction between reward-seeking flower feeding animals and plants requires consideration of the dynamic nature of nectar secretion. Studies on several plants suggest that nectar secretion may increase in response to its removal, but it is not clear whether the phenomenon is widespread. We determined whether 11 species of Colorado mountain wildflowers showed removal-enhanced nectar replenishment (RENR. We measured floral phenology, nectar volumes, rate of replenishment, and compared the cumulative nectar produced following five hourly removals with that accumulated after five hours. Nectar replenishment occurred rapidly, within minutes; statistically significant RENR was observed in 9 of our 11 study species, with the strongest effects in bee-pollinated species. We discuss the implications of RENR in plant species on the measurement of nectar, the adaptive advantage of RENR, and the energetic costs of RENR.

  16. RNA viruses in hymenopteran pollinators: evidence of inter-Taxa virus transmission via pollen and potential impact on non-Apis hymenopteran species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajwinder Singh

    Full Text Available Although overall pollinator populations have declined over the last couple of decades, the honey bee (Apis mellifera malady, colony collapse disorder (CCD, has caused major concern in the agricultural community. Among honey bee pathogens, RNA viruses are emerging as a serious threat and are suspected as major contributors to CCD. Recent detection of these viral species in bumble bees suggests a possible wider environmental spread of these viruses with potential broader impact. It is therefore vital to study the ecology and epidemiology of these viruses in the hymenopteran pollinator community as a whole. We studied the viral distribution in honey bees, in their pollen loads, and in other non-Apis hymenopteran pollinators collected from flowering plants in Pennsylvania, New York, and Illinois in the United States. Viruses in the samples were detected using reverse transcriptase-PCR and confirmed by sequencing. For the first time, we report the molecular detection of picorna-like RNA viruses (deformed wing virus, sacbrood virus and black queen cell virus in pollen pellets collected directly from forager bees. Pollen pellets from several uninfected forager bees were detected with virus, indicating that pollen itself may harbor viruses. The viruses in the pollen and honey stored in the hive were demonstrated to be infective, with the queen becoming infected and laying infected eggs after these virus-contaminated foods were given to virus-free colonies. These viruses were detected in eleven other non-Apis hymenopteran species, ranging from many solitary bees to bumble bees and wasps. This finding further expands the viral host range and implies a possible deeper impact on the health of our ecosystem. Phylogenetic analyses support that these viruses are disseminating freely among the pollinators via the flower pollen itself. Notably, in cases where honey bee apiaries affected by CCD harbored honey bees with Israeli Acute Paralysis virus (IAPV, nearby

  17. Monitoring agricultural ecosystems by using wild bees as environmental indicators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Schindler

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Wild bees are abundant in agricultural ecosystems and contribute significantly to the pollination of many crops. The specialisation of many wild bees on particular nesting sites and food resources makes them sensitive to changing habitat conditions. Therefore wild bees are important indicators for environmental impact assessments. Long-term monitoring schemes to measure changes of wild bee communities in agricultural ecosystems are currently lacking. Here we suggest a highly standardized monitoring approach which combines transect walks and pan traps (bowls. The combination of these two methods provides high sample coverage and reveals data on plant-pollinator interactions. We point out that comprehensive methodical, biological and taxonomical expertise is mandatory. The suggested approach is applicable to diverse monitoring goals in an agricultural context e.g. the impact of land use changes as well as monitoring potential effects of GM crops on wild bees.

  18. Explosive pollination mechanism in Periandra mediterranea (Vell. Taub. (Fabaceae in the Guaribas Biological Reserve, Paraíba, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andressa Cavalcante Meireles

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Periandra mediterranea (Vell. Taub. has papilionaceous flowers with a complex pollination mechanism. This study examined pollination and reproduction in P. mediterranea from November 2009 to October 2011 at the Guaribas Biological Reserve, Paraíba, Brazil. The petals are modified in a keel that protects the stamens and stigma; two wings surround the keel, and a standard that serves as landing platform for floral visitors. Periandra mediterranea exhibits an explosive type pollination mechanism in which the bee species Xylocopa frontalis, Acanthopus excellens and Epicharis sp., land on the standard and, due to body weight, expose the reproductive organs in the wing-keel complex. As a result, the reproductive organs of the flower come into contact with the dorsal region of the bee body, depositing pollen (i.e., nototríbic pollination. Reproductive assays showed 20% fruiting in spontaneous auto-pollination, 33% in manual auto-pollination, 33% in manual cross-pollination, and 100% in the control group, with no reproductive success while in apomixis. These results demonstrate self-compatibility in this species, however it depends on pollinators to ensure reproductive success.

  19. The oligolectic bee Osmia brevis sonicates Penstemon flowers for pollen: a newly documented behavior for the Megachilidae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flowers with poricidally dehiscent anthers are avidly visited and often solely pollinated by diverse bees capable of buzzing the flowers to harvest their pollen. Sonication results from shivering of the thoracic flight muscles. Honey bees (Apis) and the 4000+ species of Megachilidae are enigmatic ...

  20. USBombus, a database of contemporary survey data for North American Bumble Bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Bombus) distributed in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    This paper describes USBombus, a large dataset that represents the outcomes of one of the largest standardized surveys of bee pollinators (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Bombus) globally. The motivation to collect live bumble bees across the US was to examine the decline and conservation status of Bombus affi...

  1. Variation in alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata, reproductive success according to location of nests in U.S. commercial domiciles

    Science.gov (United States)

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata F., is used extensively to pollinate alfalfa for seed production in western North America. However, it usually is not possible to sustain bee populations in the United States. Variable microenvironments are experienced by developing alfalfa leafcutt...

  2. Efficiency of Buzzing Bees in Fruit Set and Seed Set of Solanum violaceum in Sri Lanka

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. W. M. U. M. Wanigasekara

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Plant-pollinator interactions are often considered as tightly coevolved, mutualistic relationships. The present study aimed at determining the flower visiting bees of the vegetable crop, Solanum violaceum, and the efficiency of buzz pollination by bees on fruit and seed production in Sri Lanka. Seven bee species: Hoplonomia westwoodi, Amegilla comberi, Patellapis kaluterae, Xylocopa tenuiscapa, Apis dorsata, Trigona iridipennis, and Ceratina hieroglyphica visited the flowers of S. violaceum, and the first four species were buzzing bees. Buzzing bees were the first to visit Solanum flowers and were followed by nonbuzzing bees. Handling time of H. westwoodi and P. kaluterae varied with the availability of pollen in anthers that deplete with the age of flower and stayed longer at new flowers than at old flowers. Handling time of the larger buzzing bee, H. westwoodi, was higher than that of the smaller P. kaluterae. The fruit set, seed set, and seed germinability in flowers visited by buzzing bees were significantly higher than those of the flowers bagged to exclude pollinators.

  3. Observations on the Morphology, Pollination and Cultivation of Coco de Mer (Lodoicea maldivica (J F Gmel. Pers., Palmae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen Blackmore

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We present a range of observations on the reproductive morphology, pollination biology and cultivation of Lodoicea maldivica (coco de mer, an endangered species with great ecological, economic and cultural importance. We review the history of study of this charismatic species. Morphological studies of the male inflorescence indicate its importance as a year-round food source to the Seychelles fauna. In situ observations suggest a number of potential biotic and abiotic pollination mechanisms including bees, flies, slugs, and geckos; trigonid bees are identified as the most likely potential natural pollinator. We outline a successful programme for ex situ pollination, germination, and cultivation of the coco de mer, highlighting the importance of temperature, humidity and light levels as well as maintaining an undisturbed environment. In combination with continued protection and monitoring, this advice may aid the future in situ and ex situ conservation of the coco de mer.

  4. Migratory management and environmental conditions affect lifespan and oxidative stress in honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simone-Finstrom, Michael; Li-Byarlay, Hongmei; Huang, Ming H; Strand, Micheline K; Rueppell, Olav; Tarpy, David R

    2016-01-01

    Most pollination in large-scale agriculture is dependent on managed colonies of a single species, the honey bee Apis mellifera. More than 1 million hives are transported to California each year just to pollinate the almonds, and bees are trucked across the country for various cropping systems. Concerns have been raised about whether such "migratory management" causes bees undue stress; however to date there have been no longer-term studies rigorously addressing whether migratory management is detrimental to bee health. To address this issue, we conducted field experiments comparing bees from commercial and experimental migratory beekeeping operations to those from stationary colonies to quantify effects on lifespan, colony health and productivity, and levels of oxidative damage for individual bees. We detected a significant decrease in lifespan of migratory adult bees relative to stationary bees. We also found that migration affected oxidative stress levels in honey bees, but that food scarcity had an even larger impact; some detrimental effects of migration may be alleviated by a greater abundance of forage. In addition, rearing conditions affect levels of oxidative damage incurred as adults. This is the first comprehensive study on impacts of migratory management on the health and oxidative stress of honey bees. PMID:27554200

  5. Migratory management and environmental conditions affect lifespan and oxidative stress in honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simone-Finstrom, Michael; Li-Byarlay, Hongmei; Huang, Ming H.; Strand, Micheline K.; Rueppell, Olav; Tarpy, David R.

    2016-01-01

    Most pollination in large-scale agriculture is dependent on managed colonies of a single species, the honey bee Apis mellifera. More than 1 million hives are transported to California each year just to pollinate the almonds, and bees are trucked across the country for various cropping systems. Concerns have been raised about whether such “migratory management” causes bees undue stress; however to date there have been no longer-term studies rigorously addressing whether migratory management is detrimental to bee health. To address this issue, we conducted field experiments comparing bees from commercial and experimental migratory beekeeping operations to those from stationary colonies to quantify effects on lifespan, colony health and productivity, and levels of oxidative damage for individual bees. We detected a significant decrease in lifespan of migratory adult bees relative to stationary bees. We also found that migration affected oxidative stress levels in honey bees, but that food scarcity had an even larger impact; some detrimental effects of migration may be alleviated by a greater abundance of forage. In addition, rearing conditions affect levels of oxidative damage incurred as adults. This is the first comprehensive study on impacts of migratory management on the health and oxidative stress of honey bees. PMID:27554200

  6. Selection of bee species for environmental risk assessment of GM cotton in the Brazilian Cerrado

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen Sílvia Soares Pires

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this work was to list potential candidate bee species for environmental risk assessment (ERA of genetically modified (GM cotton and to identify the most suited bee species for this task, according to their abundance and geographical distribution. Field inventories of bee on cotton flowers were performed in the states of Bahia and Mato Grosso, and in Distrito Federal, Brazil. During a 344 hour sampling, 3,470 bees from 74 species were recovered, at eight sites. Apis mellifera dominated the bee assemblages at all sites. Sampling at two sites that received no insecticide application was sufficient to identify the three most common and geographically widespread wild species: Paratrigona lineata, Melissoptila cnecomola, and Trigona spinipes, which could be useful indicators of pollination services in the ERA. Indirect ordination of common wild species revealed that insecticides reduced the number of native bee species and that interannual variation in bee assemblages may be low. Accumulation curves of rare bee species did not saturate, as expected in tropical and megadiverse regions. Species-based approaches are limited to analyze negative impacts of GM cotton on pollinator biological diversity. The accumulation rate of rare bee species, however, may be useful for evaluating possible negative effects of GM cotton on bee diversity.

  7. Low dietary levels of Al, Pb and Cd may affect the non-enzymatic antioxidant capacity in caged honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gauthier, Maxime; Aras, Philippe; Jumarie, Catherine; Boily, Monique

    2016-02-01

    Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the abnormally high mortality rate observed in bee populations in Europe and North America. While studies based on the effects of pesticides are paramount, the metals present in agroecosystems are often overlooked. Sources of metals are linked to the nature of soils and to agricultural practices, namely the use of natural or chemical nutrients as well as residual materials from waste-water treatment sludge. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of metals on honey bees exposed for 10 days to environmentally realistic concentrations of Al, Pb and Cd (dissolved in syrup). The monitoring of syrup consumption combined with the quantification of metals in bees revealed the following order for metal bioconcentration ratios: Cd > Pb > Al. Alpha-tocopherol, metallothionein-like proteins (MTLPs) and lipid peroxidation were quantified. When bees were exposed to increasing amounts of Cd, a marked augmentation of MTLPs levels was found. Lead (Pb) and Cd caused an increase in α-tocopherol content, while alteration of lipid peroxidation was observed only with Al exposure. These findings raise concerns about the bioavailability and the additional threat posed by metals for pollinators in agricultural areas while providing new insights for potential use of the honey bee as a sentinel species for metal exposure. PMID:26421624

  8. Effects of pollination timing and distance on seed production in a dioecious weed Silene latifolia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Jay F.; Duddu, Hema S. N.; Shirtliffe, Steven J.; Benaragama, Dilshan; Syrovy, Lena D.; Stanley, Katherine A.; Haile, Teketel A.

    2015-11-01

    Silene latifolia Poir. (white cockle or white campion) is an important invasive weed in North American agriculture. It exhibits dioecy, therefore, both male and female plants are required in order for seed production to occur. However, dioecious species being invasive is not common because of their limitations in pollination and subsequent seed production. The objective of this study is to determine the effect of pollination timing and distance on seed production of Silene latifolia. A series of experiments including pollination exclusion, timing and pollination distance were conducted in 2009 and 2010 at or around Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. For pollination exclusion, exclosures were built around the natural female plants for exclosure, sham-exclosure, and male and female combined treatments. Pollination timing was studied by applying exclosure, non-exclosure, night-exclosure, and day-exclosure treatments to individual female plants. Female plants were transplanted along a linear interval at six different distances from the pollen source to study the effect of pollination distance. S. latifolia was exclusively insect-pollinated and pollination occurred both day and night; however, in one year, pollination occurred mainly at night. Female plants that were in the range of 0-4 m from a compatible pollen source experienced no limitation to pollination. However, when the distance was increased further up to 128 m, pollination levels and subsequent seed production were declined. Moreover, there were differences in seed production between years suggesting that pollination was affected by the environmental conditions during pollination and the crop that white cockle was grown in. These experiments indicate that seed production in S. latifolia is limited by insect-pollination. Although there was pollination limitation for seed production at greater distances from a pollen source, the high fecundity rate (3000-18000 seeds per plant) resulted in a large seed output. Thus, we

  9. Bidirectional flower color and shape changes allow a second opportunity for pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willmer, Pat; Stanley, Dara A; Steijven, Karin; Matthews, Iain M; Nuttman, Clive V

    2009-06-01

    Flowers act as "sensory billboards" with multiple signals (color, morphology, odor) attracting and manipulating potential pollinators. Many use changing signals as indicators that visitation and/or pollination have occurred). Floral color change is commonly used to transmit this information (often correlated with reduced nectar reward) and can be specifically triggered by pollination or visitation. By retaining color-changed flowers, plants benefit from larger floral displays but also indicate at close range which flowers are still rewarding (and still unpollinated), so that visitors forage more efficiently. However, the legume Desmodium setigerum shows a unique ability, if inadequately pollinated, to reverse its flowers' color and shape changes. Single visits by bees mechanically depress the keel and expose stigma and anthers (termed "tripping"); visits also initiate a rapid color change from lilac to white and turquoise and a slower morphological change, the upper petal folding downwards over the reproductive parts. But flowers receiving insufficient pollen can partially reopen, re-exposing the stigma, with a further color change to deeper turquoise and/or lilac. Thus, most flowers achieve pollination from one bee visit, but those with inadequate pollen receipt can reverse their signals, earning a "second chance" by eliciting attention from other potential pollinators. PMID:19409788

  10. Evolution of polyploidy and the diversification of plant-pollinator interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, John N; Merg, Kurt F

    2008-08-01

    One of the major mechanisms of plant diversification has been the evolution of polyploid populations that differ from their diploid progenitors in morphology, physiology, and environmental tolerances. Recent studies have indicated that polyploidy may also have major effects on ecological interactions with herbivores and pollinators. We evaluated pollination of sympatric diploid and tetraploid plants of the rhizomatous herb Heuchera grossulariifolia (Saxifragaceae) along the Selway and Salmon Rivers of northern Idaho, USA, during four consecutive years. Previous molecular and ecological analyses had indicated that the tetraploid populations along these two river systems are independently derived and differ from each other in multiple traits. In each region, we evaluated floral visitation rate by all insect visitors, pollination efficacy of all major visitors, and relative contribution of all major pollinators to seed set. In both regions, diploid and tetraploid plants attracted different suites of floral visitors. Most pollination was attributable to several bee species and the moth Greya politella. Lasioglossum bees preferentially visited diploid plants at Lower Salmon but not at Upper Selway, queen Bombus centralis preferentially visited tetraploids at both sites, and worker B. centralis differed between sites in their cytotype preference. Hence, diploid and autotetraploid H. grossulariifolia plants act essentially as separate ecological species and may experience partial reproductive isolation through differential visitation and pollination by their major floral visitors. Overall the results, together with recent results from other studies, suggest that the repeated evolution of polyploidy in plants may contribute importantly to the structure and diversification of ecological interactions in terrestrial communities. PMID:18724730

  11. Parasitized honey bees are less likely to forage and carry less pollen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lach, Lori; Kratz, Madlen; Baer, Boris

    2015-09-01

    Research into loss of pollination capacity has focused primarily on documenting pollinator declines and their causes with comparatively little attention paid to how stressors may affect pollinating behavior of surviving pollinators. The European honey bee, Apis mellifera is one of the world's most important generalist pollinators, and Nosema apis is a widespread microsporidian gut parasite of adult A. mellifera. We individually fed 960 newly eclosed A. mellifera workers either a sucrose solution or 400 N. apis spores in a sucrose solution and tagged them with a unique radio frequency identification (RFID) tag to monitor their foraging behavior. We found spore-fed bees were less likely to forage than those fed sugar only. Those that did forage started foraging when they were older and stopped foraging when they were younger than bees fed sugar only. However, inoculated and non-inoculated bees did not significantly differ in the number of foraging trips taken per day, the total hours foraged over their lifetime, or homing ability. Inoculated returning foragers were 4.3 times less likely to be carrying available pollen than non-inoculated returning foragers and the number of pollen grains carried was negatively correlated with the number of N. apis spores. In an arena of artificial flowers, inoculated bees had a tendency (p=0.061) to choose sugar flowers over pollen flowers, compared to non-inoculated bees which visited pollen and sugar flowers equally. These results demonstrate that even a relatively low dose of a widespread disease of A. mellifera may adversely affect bees' ability to pollinate. PMID:26149824

  12. The effects of Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom to the preadipocyte proliferation and lipolysis of adipocyte, localized fat accumulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Min-Ki Kim

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Objectives : The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom to the primary cultured preadipocyte, adipocytes, and localized fat tissue. Methods : Decreased preadipocyte proliferation and decreased lipogenesis are mechanisms to reduce obesity. So, preadipocytes and adipocytes were performed on cell cultures using Sprague-Dawley Rats and treated with 0.01-1mg/㎖ Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom. And porcine skin including fat tissue after treated Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom according to the dosage dependent variation are investigated the histologic changes after injection of these Pharmacopuncture. Result : Following results were obtained from the preadipocyte proliferation and lipolysis of adipocyte and histologic investigation of fat tissue. 1. Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom showed the effect of decreased preadipocyte proliferation depend on concentration. 2. Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom showed the effect of decreased the activity of glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase(GPDH significantly. 3. Bee Venom was not showed the effect of lipolysis, but Sweet Bee Venom was increased in low dosage and decreased in high dosage. 4. Investigated the histologic changes in porcine fat tissue after treated Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom, we knew that these Pharmacopuncture was activated nonspecific lysis of cell membranes depend on concentration. Conclusion : These results suggest that Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom efficiently induces decreased proliferation of preadipocyte and lipolysis in adipose tissue

  13. Importance of olfactory and visuel cues of Echium for host-plant finding of the oligolectic bee Osmia adunca (Megachilidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Burger, Hannah; Dötterl, Stefan; Ayasse, Manfred

    2008-01-01

    Solitary bees are important pollinators of flowers. Besides nectar they collect pollen at flowers mainly to provide their larvae with food. Many bee species collect pollen only on a few closely related plant species (oligolecty) (Müller & al. 1997). Little is known about the visual and olfactorial signals they use for host-plant finding (Wcislo & Cane 1996). However, bees can olfactorily distinguish between different pollen species (von Frisch 1923), and a species-specific chemistry of pollen...

  14. The oligolectic bee Osmia brevis sonicates Penstemon flowers for pollen: a newly documented behavior for the Megachilidae

    OpenAIRE

    Cane, James

    2014-01-01

    Flowers with poricidally dehiscent anthers are typically nectarless but are avidly visited and often solely pollinated by bees that sonicate the flowers to harvest pollen. Sonication results from shivering the thoracic flight muscles. Honey bees (Apis) and the 4,000+ species of Megachilidae are enigmatic in their seeming inability to sonicate flowers. The oligolectic megachilid bee Osmia brevis was found audibly sonicating two of its beardtongue pollen hosts, Penstemon radicosus and P. cyanan...

  15. A new threat to bees? Entomopathogenic nematodes used in biological pest control cause rapid mortality in Bombus terrestris

    OpenAIRE

    Dutka, Alexandrea; McNulty, Alison; Williamson, Sally M.

    2015-01-01

    There is currently a great deal of concern about population declines in pollinating insects. Many potential threats have been identified which may adversely affect the behaviour and health of both honey bees and bumble bees: these include pesticide exposure, and parasites and pathogens. Whether biological pest control agents adversely affect bees has been much less well studied: it is generally assumed that biological agents are safer for wildlife than chemical pesticides. The aim of this stu...

  16. Towards integrated control of varroa: effect of variation in hygienic behaviour among honey bee colonies on mite population increase and deformed wing virus incidence

    OpenAIRE

    Al Toufailia, Hasan M; Amiri, Esmaeil; Scandian, Luciano; Kryger, Per; Ratnieks, Francis L. W.

    2014-01-01

    Hygienic behaviour in the honey bee, Apis mellifera, is the uncapping and removal of dead, diseased or infected brood from sealed cells by worker bees. We determined the effect of hygienic behaviour on varroa population growth and incidence of deformed wing virus (DWV), which can be transmitted by varroa. We treated 42 broodless honey bee colonies with oxalic acid in early January 2013 to reduce varroa populations to low levels, which we quantified by extracting mites from a sample of worker ...

  17. Pollination triggers female gametophyte development in immature Nicotiana tabacum flowers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brito, Michael S; Bertolino, Lígia T; Cossalter, Viviane; Quiapim, Andréa C; DePaoli, Henrique C; Goldman, Gustavo H; Teixeira, Simone P; Goldman, Maria H S

    2015-01-01

    In Nicotiana tabacum, female gametophytes are not fully developed at anthesis, but flower buds pollinated 12 h before anthesis produce mature embryo sacs. We investigated several pollination-associated parameters in N. tabacum flower buds to determine the developmental timing of important events in preparation for successful fertilization. First, we performed hand pollinations in flowers from stages 4 to 11 to study at which developmental stage pollination would produce fruits. A Peroxtesmo test was performed to correlate peroxidase activity on the stigma surface, indicative of stigma receptivity, with fruit set. Pollen tube growth and female gametophyte development were microscopically analyzed in pistils of different developmental stages. Fruits were obtained only after pollinations of flower buds at late stage 7 and older; fruit weight and seed germination capacity increased as the developmental stage of the pollinated flower approached anthesis. Despite positive peroxidase activity and pollen tube growth, pistils at stages 5 and 6 were unable to produce fruits. At late stage 7, female gametophytes were undergoing first mitotic division. After 24 h, female gametophytes of unpollinated pistils were still in the end of the first division, whereas those of pollinated pistils showed egg cells. RT-qPCR assay showed that the expression of the NtEC1 gene, a marker of egg cell development, is considerably higher in pollinated late stage 7 ovaries compared with unpollinated ovaries. To test whether ethylene is the signal eliciting female gametophyte maturation, the expression of ACC synthase was examined in unpollinated and pollinated stage 6 and late stage 7 stigmas/styles. Pollination induced NtACS expression in stage 6 pistils, which are unable to produce fruits. Our results show that pollination is a stimulus capable of triggering female gametophyte development in immature tobacco flowers and suggests the existence of a yet undefined signal sensed by the pistil. PMID

  18. Pollination triggers female gametophyte development in immature Nicotiana tabacum flowers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brito, Michael S.; Bertolino, Lígia T.; Cossalter, Viviane; Quiapim, Andréa C.; DePaoli, Henrique C.; Goldman, Gustavo H.; Teixeira, Simone P.; Goldman, Maria H. S.

    2015-01-01

    In Nicotiana tabacum, female gametophytes are not fully developed at anthesis, but flower buds pollinated 12 h before anthesis produce mature embryo sacs. We investigated several pollination-associated parameters in N. tabacum flower buds to determine the developmental timing of important events in preparation for successful fertilization. First, we performed hand pollinations in flowers from stages 4 to 11 to study at which developmental stage pollination would produce fruits. A Peroxtesmo test was performed to correlate peroxidase activity on the stigma surface, indicative of stigma receptivity, with fruit set. Pollen tube growth and female gametophyte development were microscopically analyzed in pistils of different developmental stages. Fruits were obtained only after pollinations of flower buds at late stage 7 and older; fruit weight and seed germination capacity increased as the developmental stage of the pollinated flower approached anthesis. Despite positive peroxidase activity and pollen tube growth, pistils at stages 5 and 6 were unable to produce fruits. At late stage 7, female gametophytes were undergoing first mitotic division. After 24 h, female gametophytes of unpollinated pistils were still in the end of the first division, whereas those of pollinated pistils showed egg cells. RT-qPCR assay showed that the expression of the NtEC1 gene, a marker of egg cell development, is considerably higher in pollinated late stage 7 ovaries compared with unpollinated ovaries. To test whether ethylene is the signal eliciting female gametophyte maturation, the expression of ACC synthase was examined in unpollinated and pollinated stage 6 and late stage 7 stigmas/styles. Pollination induced NtACS expression in stage 6 pistils, which are unable to produce fruits. Our results show that pollination is a stimulus capable of triggering female gametophyte development in immature tobacco flowers and suggests the existence of a yet undefined signal sensed by the pistil. PMID

  19. Moonlight pollination in the gymnosperm Ephedra (Gnetales)

    OpenAIRE

    Rydin, Catarina; Bolinder, Kristina

    2015-01-01

    Most gymnosperms are wind-pollinated, but some are insect-pollinated, and in Ephedra (Gnetales), both wind pollination and insect pollination occur. Little is, however, known about mechanisms and evolution of pollination syndromes in gymnosperms. Based on four seasons of field studies, we show an unexpected correlation between pollination and the phases of the moon in one of our studied species, Ephedra foeminea. It is pollinated by dipterans and lepidopterans, most of them nocturnal, and its...

  20. Bee Stings & Their Consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rupp, Robert M.

    1991-01-01

    Relevant information concerning bee stings is provided. Possible reactions to a bee sting and their symptoms, components of bee venom, diagnosis of hypersensitivity, and bee sting prevention and treatment are topics of discussion. The possibility of bee stings occurring during field trips and the required precautions are discussed. (KR)

  1. Potential effects of oilseed rape expressing oryzacystatin-1 (OC-1 and of purified insecticidal proteins on larvae of the solitary bee Osmia bicornis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roger Konrad

    Full Text Available Despite their importance as pollinators in crops and wild plants, solitary bees have not previously been included in non-target testing of insect-resistant transgenic crop plants. Larvae of many solitary bees feed almost exclusively on pollen and thus could be highly exposed to transgene products expressed in the pollen. The potential effects of pollen from oilseed rape expressing the cysteine protease inhibitor oryzacystatin-1 (OC-1 were investigated on larvae of the solitary bee Osmia bicornis (= O. rufa. Furthermore, recombinant OC-1 (rOC-1, the Bt toxin Cry1Ab and the snowdrop lectin Galanthus nivalis agglutinin (GNA were evaluated for effects on the life history parameters of this important pollinator. Pollen provisions from transgenic OC-1 oilseed rape did not affect overall development. Similarly, high doses of rOC-1 and Cry1Ab as well as a low dose of GNA failed to cause any significant effects. However, a high dose of GNA (0.1% in the larval diet resulted in significantly increased development time and reduced efficiency in conversion of pollen food into larval body weight. Our results suggest that OC-1 and Cry1Ab expressing transgenic crops would pose a negligible risk for O. bicornis larvae, whereas GNA expressing plants could cause detrimental effects, but only if bees were exposed to high levels of the protein. The described bioassay with bee brood is not only suitable for early tier non-target tests of transgenic plants, but also has broader applicability to other crop protection products.

  2. Potential effects of oilseed rape expressing oryzacystatin-1 (OC-1) and of purified insecticidal proteins on larvae of the solitary bee Osmia bicornis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konrad, Roger; Ferry, Natalie; Gatehouse, Angharad M R; Babendreier, Dirk

    2008-01-01

    Despite their importance as pollinators in crops and wild plants, solitary bees have not previously been included in non-target testing of insect-resistant transgenic crop plants. Larvae of many solitary bees feed almost exclusively on pollen and thus could be highly exposed to transgene products expressed in the pollen. The potential effects of pollen from oilseed rape expressing the cysteine protease inhibitor oryzacystatin-1 (OC-1) were investigated on larvae of the solitary bee Osmia bicornis (= O. rufa). Furthermore, recombinant OC-1 (rOC-1), the Bt toxin Cry1Ab and the snowdrop lectin Galanthus nivalis agglutinin (GNA) were evaluated for effects on the life history parameters of this important pollinator. Pollen provisions from transgenic OC-1 oilseed rape did not affect overall development. Similarly, high doses of rOC-1 and Cry1Ab as well as a low dose of GNA failed to cause any significant effects. However, a high dose of GNA (0.1%) in the larval diet resulted in significantly increased development time and reduced efficiency in conversion of pollen food into larval body weight. Our results suggest that OC-1 and Cry1Ab expressing transgenic crops would pose a negligible risk for O. bicornis larvae, whereas GNA expressing plants could cause detrimental effects, but only if bees were exposed to high levels of the protein. The described bioassay with bee brood is not only suitable for early tier non-target tests of transgenic plants, but also has broader applicability to other crop protection products. PMID:18628826

  3. Repression and recuperation of brood production in Bombus terrestris bumble bees exposed to a pulse of the neonicotinoid pesticide imidacloprid.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian Laycock

    Full Text Available Currently, there is concern about declining bee populations and some blame the residues of neonicotinoid pesticides in the nectar and pollen of treated crops. Bumble bees are important wild pollinators that are widely exposed to dietary neonicotinoids by foraging in agricultural environments. In the laboratory, we tested the effect of a pulsed exposure (14 days 'on dose' followed by 14 days 'off dose' to a common neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, on the amount of brood (number of eggs and larvae produced by Bombus terrestris L. bumble bees in small, standardised experimental colonies (a queen and four adult workers. During the initial 'on dose' period we observed a dose-dependent repression of brood production in colonies, with productivity decreasing as dosage increased up to 98 µg kg(-1 dietary imidacloprid. During the following 'off dose' period, colonies showed a dose-dependent recuperation such that total brood production during the 28-day pulsed exposure was not correlated with imidacloprid up to 98 µg kg(-1. Our findings raise further concern about the threat to wild bumble bees from neonicotinoids, but they also indicate some resilience to a pulsed exposure, such as that arising from the transient bloom of a treated mass-flowering crop.

  4. The bee community and its relationship to canola productivity in homogenous agricultural areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sidia Witter

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Canola crop productivity is benefited by bee pollination and it has been shown that bee communities can be affected by landscape composition. The aim of this study was to analyse the bee community and its relationship to canola seed production in agricultural areas. The density, abundance and richness of floral visitors of Brassica napus cultivar Hyola 61 in six commercial fields in southern Brazil were studied, and their relationships with seed production and the ratio of semi-natural, forested and agricultural areas surrounding the crops were examined. It was observed that canola fields of southern Brazil are surrounded by a homogeneous landscape dominated by agricultural areas. The survey of bees detected a low abundance and richness of native bees in contrast to the high abundance of Apis mellifera. Except for a negative correlation between the abundance of honey bees and the proportion of forested areas within a 2000 m radius from the field (R = -0.90; P = 0.012, no other correlations were found among bee abundance and richness and landscape composition. Although there was not a relationship between A. mellifera and seed set, there was a positive correlation between insect density and seed weight per plant (R = 0.87; P = 0.024. As honey bees were the most captured insect (79%, much of the pollination in this system was probably achieved by honey bees.

  5. Busy Bees: Variation in Insect Flower-Visiting Rates across Multiple Plant Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margaret J. Couvillon

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We quantified insect visitation rates by counting how many flowers/inflorescences were probed per unit time for five plant species (four native and one garden: California lilac, bramble, ragwort, wild marjoram, and ivy growing in Sussex, United Kingdom, by following individual insects (n=2987 from nine functional groups (honey bees (Apis mellifera, bumble bees (Bombus spp., hoverflies, flies, butterflies, beetles, wasps, non-Apidae bees, and moths. Additionally, we made a census of the insect diversity on the studied plant species. Overall we found that insect groups differed greatly in their rate of flower visits (P<2.2e-16, with bumble bees and honey bees visiting significantly more flowers per time (11.5 and 9.2 flowers/minute, resp. than the other insect groups. Additionally, we report on a within-group difference in the non-Apidae bees, where the genus Osmia, which is often suggested as an alternative to honey bees as a managed pollinator, was very speedy (13.4 flowers/minute compared to the other non-Apidae bees (4.3 flowers/minute. Our census showed that the plants attracted a range of insects, with the honey bee as the most abundant visitor (34%. Therefore, rate differences cannot be explained by particular specializations. Lastly, we discuss potential implications of our conclusions for pollination.

  6. MYB-FL controls gain and loss of floral UV absorbance, a key trait affecting pollinator preference and reproductive isolation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheehan, Hester; Moser, Michel; Klahre, Ulrich; Esfeld, Korinna; Dell'Olivo, Alexandre; Mandel, Therese; Metzger, Sabine; Vandenbussche, Michiel; Freitas, Loreta; Kuhlemeier, Cris

    2016-02-01

    Adaptations to new pollinators involve multiple floral traits, each requiring coordinated changes in multiple genes. Despite this genetic complexity, shifts in pollination syndromes have happened frequently during angiosperm evolution. Here we study the genetic basis of floral UV absorbance, a key trait for attracting nocturnal pollinators. In Petunia, mutations in a single gene, MYB-FL, explain two transitions in UV absorbance. A gain of UV absorbance in the transition from bee to moth pollination was determined by a cis-regulatory mutation, whereas a frameshift mutation caused subsequent loss of UV absorbance during the transition from moth to hummingbird pollination. The functional differences in MYB-FL provide insight into the process of speciation and clarify phylogenetic relationships between nascent species. PMID:26656847

  7. Genomic analyses of the microsporidian Nosema ceranae, an emergent pathogen of honey bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R Scott Cornman

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Recent steep declines in honey bee health have severely impacted the beekeeping industry, presenting new risks for agricultural commodities that depend on insect pollination. Honey bee declines could reflect increased pressures from parasites and pathogens. The incidence of the microsporidian pathogen Nosema ceranae has increased significantly in the past decade. Here we present a draft assembly (7.86 MB of the N. ceranae genome derived from pyrosequence data, including initial gene models and genomic comparisons with other members of this highly derived fungal lineage. N. ceranae has a strongly AT-biased genome (74% A+T and a diversity of repetitive elements, complicating the assembly. Of 2,614 predicted protein-coding sequences, we conservatively estimate that 1,366 have homologs in the microsporidian Encephalitozoon cuniculi, the most closely related published genome sequence. We identify genes conserved among microsporidia that lack clear homology outside this group, which are of special interest as potential virulence factors in this group of obligate parasites. A substantial fraction of the diminutive N. ceranae proteome consists of novel and transposable-element proteins. For a majority of well-supported gene models, a conserved sense-strand motif can be found within 15 bases upstream of the start codon; a previously uncharacterized version of this motif is also present in E. cuniculi. These comparisons provide insight into the architecture, regulation, and evolution of microsporidian genomes, and will drive investigations into honey bee-Nosema interactions.

  8. Aggressive displacement of Xylocopa nigrita carpenter bees from flowers of Lagenaria sphaerica (Cucurbitaceae) by territorial male Eastern Olive Sunbirds (Cyanomitra olivacea) in Tanzania

    OpenAIRE

    Jeff Ollerton; Clive Nuttman

    2013-01-01

    Male Eastern Olive Sunbirds (Cyanomitra olivacea) and Xylocopa nigrita carpenter bees in Tanzania both utilise the flowers of male plants of Lagenaria sphaerica (Cucurbitaceae) as a source of nectar. The sunbirds set up territories defending this nectar resource. Observations of interactions between the sunbirds and the carpenter bees show that the bees are aggressively displaced from flowers when spotted by the birds. Only the bees can be considered as legitimate pollinators as the birds d...

  9. Honey Bee Infecting Lake Sinai Viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daughenbaugh, Katie F; Martin, Madison; Brutscher, Laura M; Cavigli, Ian; Garcia, Emma; Lavin, Matt; Flenniken, Michelle L

    2015-06-01

    Honey bees are critical pollinators of important agricultural crops. Recently, high annual losses of honey bee colonies have prompted further investigation of honey bee infecting viruses. To better characterize the recently discovered and very prevalent Lake Sinai virus (LSV) group, we sequenced currently circulating LSVs, performed phylogenetic analysis, and obtained images of LSV2. Sequence analysis resulted in extension of the LSV1 and LSV2 genomes, the first detection of LSV4 in the US, and the discovery of LSV6 and LSV7. We detected LSV1 and LSV2 in the Varroa destructor mite, and determined that a large proportion of LSV2 is found in the honey bee gut, suggesting that vector-mediated, food-associated, and/or fecal-oral routes may be important for LSV dissemination. Pathogen-specific quantitative PCR data, obtained from samples collected during a small-scale monitoring project, revealed that LSV2, LSV1, Black queen cell virus (BQCV), and Nosema ceranae were more abundant in weak colonies than strong colonies within this sample cohort. Together, these results enhance our current understanding of LSVs and illustrate the importance of future studies aimed at investigating the role of LSVs and other pathogens on honey bee health at both the individual and colony levels. PMID:26110586

  10. Honey Bee Infecting Lake Sinai Viruses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katie F. Daughenbaugh

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Honey bees are critical pollinators of important agricultural crops. Recently, high annual losses of honey bee colonies have prompted further investigation of honey bee infecting viruses. To better characterize the recently discovered and very prevalent Lake Sinai virus (LSV group, we sequenced currently circulating LSVs, performed phylogenetic analysis, and obtained images of LSV2. Sequence analysis resulted in extension of the LSV1 and LSV2 genomes, the first detection of LSV4 in the US, and the discovery of LSV6 and LSV7. We detected LSV1 and LSV2 in the Varroa destructor mite, and determined that a large proportion of LSV2 is found in the honey bee gut, suggesting that vector-mediated, food-associated, and/or fecal-oral routes may be important for LSV dissemination. Pathogen-specific quantitative PCR data, obtained from samples collected during a small-scale monitoring project, revealed that LSV2, LSV1, Black queen cell virus (BQCV, and Nosema ceranae were more abundant in weak colonies than strong colonies within this sample cohort. Together, these results enhance our current understanding of LSVs and illustrate the importance of future studies aimed at investigating the role of LSVs and other pathogens on honey bee health at both the individual and colony levels.

  11. Benefits of Biotic Pollination for Non-Timber Forest Products and Cultivated Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rehel Shiny

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity supplies multiple goods and services to society and is critical for the support of livelihoods across the globe. Many indigenous people depend upon non-timber forest products (NTFP and crops for a range of goods including food, medicine, fibre and construction materials. However, the dependency of these products on biotic pollination services is poorly understood. We used the biologically and culturally diverse Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in India to characterise the types of NTFP and crop products of 213 plant species and asses their degree of dependency on animal pollination. We found that 80 per cent of all species benefited from animal pollination in their reproduction, and that 62 per cent of crop products and 40 per cent of NTFP benefited from biotic pollination in their production. Further we identified the likely pollinating taxa documented as responsible for the production of these products, mainly bees and other insects. A lower proportion of indigenous plant products (39 per cent benefited from biotic pollination than products from introduced plants (61 per cent. We conclude that pollinators play an important role in the livelihoods of people in this region.

  12. Morphofunctional Traits and Pollination Mechanisms of Coronilla emerus L. Flowers (Fabaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovanna Aronne

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available It is accepted that the papilionaceous corolla of the Fabaceae evolved under the selective pressure of bee pollinators. Morphology and function of different parts of Coronilla emerus L. flowers were related to their role in the pollination mechanism. The corolla has a vexillum with red nectar lines, a keel hiding stamens and pistil, and two wing petals fasten to the keel with two notched folds. Pollinators land on the complex of keel and wings, trigger the protrusion of pollen and finally of the stigma from the keel tip. Data on pollen viability and stigma receptivity prove that flowers are proterandrous. The results of hand-pollination experiments confirmed that insects are fundamental to set seed. Interaction with pollinators allows not only the transport of pollen but also the rupture of the stigmatic cuticle, necessary to achieve both allogamy and autogamy. Field observations showed that Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera, and Diptera visited the flowers. Only some of the Hymenoptera landed on the flowers from the front and elicited pollination mechanisms. Most of the insects sucked the nectar from the back without any pollen transfer. Finally, morphological and functional characteristics of C. emerus flowers are discussed in terms of floral larceny and reduction in pollination efficiency.

  13. Use of video surveillance to measure the influences of habitat management and landscape composition on pollinator visitation and pollen deposition in pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) agroecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Benjamin W; Gardiner, Mary M

    2015-01-01

    Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) production relies on insect-mediated pollination, which is provided by managed and wild pollinators. The goals of this study were to measure the visitation frequency, longevity and temporal activity patterns of pumpkin pollinators and to determine if local habitat management and landscape composition affected this pollination service. We used video surveillance to monitor bee acitivty within male and female pumpkin flowers in 2011 and 2012 across a pollination window of 0600-1200 h. We also quantified the amount of pollen deposited in female flowers across this time period. In 2011, A. mellifera made significantly more floral visits than other bees, and in 2012 Bombus spp. was the dominant pumpkin pollinator. We found variation in visitation among male and female pumpkin flowers, with A. mellifera visiting female flowers more often and spending longer per visit within them than male flowers in both 2011 and 2012. The squash bee P. pruinosa visited male flowers more frequently in 2012, but individuals spent equal time in both flower sexes. We did not find variation in the timing of flower visitation among species across the observed pollination window. In both 2011 and 2012 we found that the majority of pollen deposition occurred within the first two hours (0600-0800 h) of observation; there was no difference between the pollen deposited during this two-hour period and full pollination window (0600-1200 h). Local additions of sweet alyssum floral strips or a field buffer strip of native wildflowers did not have an effect on the foraging activity of bees or pollen deposition. However, semi-natural and urban habitats in the surrounding landscape were positively correlated with the frequency of flower visitation by wild pollinators and the amount of pollen deposited within female flowers. PMID:26587337

  14. Aspects of Landscape and Pollinators—What is Important to Bee Conservation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gleiciani B. Patrício-Roberto

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Pollinators, especially bees, are essential to terrestrial ecosystems. They ensure the maintenance of certain ecological processes, like superior plants’ reproduction. In the past decades, agricultural intensification has caused extensive environmental changes, with major impacts on biodiversity, especially on the pollinators, which reflects the loss of fruits and seeds sets. Here, we review studies that elucidate the causes of decline of pollinators, consequences of landscape changes to agriculture and possibilities to bees’ conservation. Many studies have related the loss of pollinators to changes in the landscape, such as the conversion of native forests into cultivated areas, which causes loss of important elements for bees (e.g., sources of pollen, nectar and oil, as well as varied nesting sites. Studies involving landscape ecology allow us to assess the effects of different farming practices over the richness and abundance of pollinators. Among the landscape elements performing positive influence on bees, the presence of remaining forests nearby cultivated areas proved to be a very important factor. Nevertheless, studies that evaluate all ground cover with a more integrated approach are still required to assess the effects of landscape context on the diversity and on the abundance of bees related to productivity of crops. Researches like these could provide specific data that strengthen the need for the conservation of different plants and animals, and could offer subsidies to propose necessary information for the execution of public and private policies, aimed at the conservation of the biodiversity.

  15. Cocaine Tolerance in Honey Bees

    OpenAIRE

    Eirik Søvik; Jennifer L. Cornish; Barron, Andrew B.

    2013-01-01

    Increasingly invertebrates are being used to investigate the molecular and cellular effects of drugs of abuse to explore basic mechanisms of addiction. However, in mammals the principle factors contributing to addiction are long-term adaptive responses to repeated drug use. Here we examined whether adaptive responses to cocaine are also seen in invertebrates using the honey bee model system. Repeated topical treatment with a low dose of cocaine rendered bees resistant to the deleterious motor...

  16. Relationships between bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Apiformes and flowers in the Bulgarian agricultural landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Banaszak Józef

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The species composition and number of visitations of food plants by bees were studied in refuge sites in agricultural landscapes and in selected crops. The habitat fragments of interest are characterised in terms of pollinator diversity at genus level and the use of food plants by individual genera. Trophic and temporal niche overlap is described for individual genera and the honey bee Apis mellifera in different habitat types. Factors influencing the manner of use of individual plant species by pollinating insects are identified

  17. Pollin Pihan asiakaskokemukset

    OpenAIRE

    Pelkonen, Tiina

    2015-01-01

    Pollin Piha decided to renew their strategy and chose to focus on enhancing customer experiences during the summer 2015. The goal was to generate a positive customer experience to all of their customers. The customer experience worked as a theoretical framework consisting of the experiences of image, encounter, quality, and customer perceived value. The research was conducted out by using a qualitative method. This method corresponded best to the research question of what kind of customer...

  18. Honey Bees, Satellites and Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esaias, W.

    2008-05-01

    Life isn't what it used to be for honey bees in Maryland. The latest changes in their world are discussed by NASA scientist Wayne Esaias, a biological oceanographer with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. At Goddard, Esaias has examined the role of marine productivity in the global carbon cycle using visible satellite sensors. In his personal life, Esaias is a beekeeper. Lately, he has begun melding his interest in bees with his professional expertise in global climate change. Esaias has observed that the period when nectar is available in central Maryland has shifted by one month due to local climate change. He is interested in bringing the power of global satellite observations and models to bear on the important but difficult question of how climate change will impact bees and pollination. Pollination is a complex, ephemeral interaction of animals and plants with ramifications throughout terrestrial ecosystems well beyond the individual species directly involved. Pollinators have been shown to be in decline in many regions, and the nature and degree of further impacts on this key interaction due to climate change are very much open questions. Honey bee colonies are used to quantify the time of occurrence of the major interaction by monitoring their weight change. During the peak period, changes of 5-15 kg/day per colony represent an integrated response covering thousands of hectares. Volunteer observations provide a robust metric for looking at spatial and inter-annual variations due to short term climate events, complementing plant phenology networks and satellite-derived vegetation phenology data. In central Maryland, the nectar flows are advancing by about -0.6 d/y, based on a 15 yr time series and a small regional study. This is comparable to the regional advancement in the spring green-up observed with MODIS and AVHRR. The ability to link satellite vegetation phenology to honey bee forage using hive weight changes provides a basis for applying satellite

  19. Non-cultivated plants present a season-long route of pesticide exposure for honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Elizabeth Y.; Krupke, Christian H.

    2016-01-01

    Recent efforts to evaluate the contribution of neonicotinoid insecticides to worldwide pollinator declines have focused on honey bees and the chronic levels of exposure experienced when foraging on crops grown from neonicotinoid-treated seeds. However, few studies address non-crop plants as a potential route of pollinator exposure to neonicotinoid and other insecticides. Here we show that pollen collected by honey bee foragers in maize- and soybean-dominated landscapes is contaminated throughout the growing season with multiple agricultural pesticides, including the neonicotinoids used as seed treatments. Notably, however, the highest levels of contamination in pollen are pyrethroid insecticides targeting mosquitoes and other nuisance pests. Furthermore, pollen from crop plants represents only a tiny fraction of the total diversity of pollen resources used by honey bees in these landscapes, with the principle sources of pollen originating from non-cultivated plants. These findings provide fundamental information about the foraging habits of honey bees in these landscapes. PMID:27240870

  20. Non-cultivated plants present a season-long route of pesticide exposure for honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Elizabeth Y; Krupke, Christian H

    2016-01-01

    Recent efforts to evaluate the contribution of neonicotinoid insecticides to worldwide pollinator declines have focused on honey bees and the chronic levels of exposure experienced when foraging on crops grown from neonicotinoid-treated seeds. However, few studies address non-crop plants as a potential route of pollinator exposure to neonicotinoid and other insecticides. Here we show that pollen collected by honey bee foragers in maize- and soybean-dominated landscapes is contaminated throughout the growing season with multiple agricultural pesticides, including the neonicotinoids used as seed treatments. Notably, however, the highest levels of contamination in pollen are pyrethroid insecticides targeting mosquitoes and other nuisance pests. Furthermore, pollen from crop plants represents only a tiny fraction of the total diversity of pollen resources used by honey bees in these landscapes, with the principle sources of pollen originating from non-cultivated plants. These findings provide fundamental information about the foraging habits of honey bees in these landscapes. PMID:27240870

  1. Shared pollinators and pollen transfer dynamics in two hybridizing species, Rhinanthus minor and R. angustifolius.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Natalis, Laurent C; Wesselingh, Renate A

    2012-11-01

    Gene flow between hybridizing plant species depends strongly on pollinator behaviour, which affects pollen transfer among floral types and reproductive isolation. We examined bumblebee behaviour and pollen transfer between two hybridizing Rhinanthus species that are very similar in ecology and floral traits. The two species, Rhinanthus minor and R. angustifolius, shared similar pollinator guilds and assemblages, but pollinator recruitment and flower visitation rates were higher in R. angustifolius sites, probably because of its higher reward levels and better visibility. When presented with Rhinanthus flowers, bumblebees that previously foraged on R. angustifolius were less prone to visit R. minor inflorescences, while R. minor foragers accepted both species in similar proportions. Although Rhinanthus has been cited as a case of mechanical isolation resulting from interactions between bee behaviour and differences in stigma and anther placement, we found no support for efficient mechanical reproductive isolation. Bumblebees that foraged on R. minor flowers carried more pollen, but pollen placement on their bodies was similar to that of bees that visited R. angustifolius, and cross-specific stigmatic pollen deposition was similar in both directions. However, the asymmetry in pollinator handling time between the two species, due to dissimilar pollen rewards, may have lowered relative heterospecific pollen receipt on R. angustifolius, suggesting that net gene flow resulting from pollen transfer dynamics is more likely towards R. minor, although this effect remains weak and will be most likely counterbalanced by context-based labile pollinator preference. PMID:22610656

  2. Pollinator preferences and the persistence of crop genes in wild radish populations (Raphanus raphanistrum, Brassicaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, T; Snow, A

    1998-03-01

    Crop-weed hybridization can potentially influence the evolutionary ecology of wild populations. Many crops are known to hybridize with wild relatives, but few studies have looked at the long-term persistence of crop genes in the wild. This study investigated one factor in the hybridization process in radish: differential pollinator visitation to wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum) vs. crop-wild F1 hybrids (R. sativus x R. raphanistrum). Wild genotypes had yellow flowers, a recessive single-locus trait, whereas hybrids always had white or pale pink flowers. In experimental arrays in northern Michigan, total pollinator visitation was significantly biased toward wild plants when the frequencies of wild and hybrid plants were equal. Syrphid flies, the most frequent visitors, preferred wild plants while bumble bees showed no preference. This pattern was also observed when hybrid plants were overrepresented in the array (12 hybrid:2 wild). In contrast, when hybrid plants were rare (2 hybrid:12 wild), neither morph was preferred by any pollinator group. Later in the summer, pollinators were also observed in a large experimental garden with nearly equal frequencies of wild and hybrid plants. Cabbage butterflies (Pieris rapae) strongly overvisited wild plants, while bumble bees showed a slight preference for hybrids. Taken together, these studies suggest that F1 hybrids may not be at a disadvantage with regard to pollinator visits when they occur at low frequencies or when bumble bees are frequent flower visitors. Thus, variation in the proportion of white-flowered morphs among wild radish populations could be influenced by different histories of crop-to-wild hybridization, as well as by variation in the composition of local pollinator taxa. PMID:21684916

  3. DNA Amplification from Pin Mounted Bumble Bees (Bombus) in a Museum Collection: Effects of Fragment Size and Specimen Age on Successful PCR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Historic data in the form of pinned specimens in entomological collections offer the potential to determine trends in genetic diversity of bumble bees (Bombus). We screened eight microsatellite loci for amplification success in pinned bumble bee specimens from the U.S. National Pollinating Insects C...

  4. The Impact of Pesticides on Honey Bees and Hence on Humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonina Jivan

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Bee crisis is threatening global food security, given the fact that one third of global agricultural production relies on pollination, especially that of honey bees. Despite their importance for human being, honey bees die with alarming speed. In recent years, in Europe and America, due to pollution, pesticides and neglect there was registered an unprecedented rate of disappearance of honey bees. Einstein's theory, the fact that once the bees cease to exist, humanity has only four years to extinction, seems now truer than ever. Thus, the issue has gained a tone of maximum urgency; the bee crisis can entirely shatter the world food security, already affected by the economic crisis. There are plenty of factors that could cause honey bee population decline: disease, parasites, climatic factors (high temperature, drought or decrease in the diversity of honey flora. It may sometimes happen that the beekeeper himself causes the poisoning of his honey bees, use inappropriate products which should protect the honey bees. It is therefore possible to imagine a multi-factorial explanation of problems encountered by honey bees and to underestimate the key role of pesticides. Considering these, a review of the impact of pesticides on honey bees should not be superfluous.

  5. The Proteolytic Activity of Diapausing and Newly Hatched Red Mason Bees (Osmia Rufa: Megachilidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Zaobidna Ewa A.; Dmochowska Kamila; Frączek Regina; Dymczyk Ewa; Żółtowska Krystyna

    2014-01-01

    Osmia rufa is a solitary bee that is used commercially for pollinating crops. The bee enters obligatory diapause as an imago. The activity of proteolytic enzymes during diapause has not been investigated. We studied the proteinase activity on four substrates - casein, haemoglobin, bovine serum albumin (BSA ), and gelatine - during diapause (from October to March) and in newly hatched males and females in April. During diapause, greater fluctuations in enzyme activity levels were noted in male...

  6. The possible role of honey bees in the spread of pollen from field trials

    OpenAIRE

    Kleinjans, H.A.W.; Keulen, van, H.; Blacquière, T.; Booij, C.J.H.; Hok-A-Hin, C. H.; Cornelissen, A.C.M.; Dooremalen, van, C.

    2012-01-01

    Honey bees are important pollinators in agricultural crops, home gardens, orchards and wildlife habitats. As they fly from flower to flower in search of nectar and pollen, they transfer pollen from plant to plant, thus fertilizing the plants and enabling them to bear fruit. In light of this, honey bees could be a factor in spreading pollen grains derived from genetically modified (GM) plants in field trials. The extent to which pollen dispersal occurs and the distances achieved depends on man...

  7. Effects of the Insect Growth Regulator, Novaluron on Immature Alfalfa Leafcutting Bees, Megachile rotundata

    OpenAIRE

    Erin W Hodgson; Pitts-Singer, Theresa L.; James D. Barbour

    2011-01-01

    Alfalfa leafcutting bees, Megachile rotundata F. (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), are the most common pollinators of alfalfa in the Pacific Northwest. Reports from users of M. rotundata in Idaho, Utah and Colorado have indicated exceptionally poor bee return from fields treated with novaluron to control Lygus spp. Our goal was to evaluate novaluron toxicity to immature M. rotundata using two different possible mechanisms of exposure. One goal was to assess immature mortality via treating nectar-p...

  8. Resistance to the parasitic mite Varroa destructor in honey bees from far-eastern Russia

    OpenAIRE

    Rinderer, Thomas; De Guzman, Lilia; Delatte, G.; Stelzer, J.; Lancaster, V.; Kuznetsov, V.; Beaman, L; Watts, R; Harris, J.

    2001-01-01

    International audience Varroa destructor is a parasitic mite of the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana. Owing to host range expansion, it now plagues Apis mellifera, the world's principal crop pollinator and honey producer. Evidence from A. mellifera in far-eastern Russia, Primorsky (P) originating from honey bees imported in the mid 1800's, suggested that many colonies were resistant to V. destructor. A controlled field study of the development of populations of V. destructor shows that P colon...

  9. Wild bees preferentially visit Rudbeckia flower heads with exaggerated ultraviolet absorbing floral guides

    OpenAIRE

    Lisa Horth; Laura Campbell; Rebecca Bray

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Here, we report on the results of an experimental study that assessed the visitation frequency of wild bees to conspecific flowers with different sized floral guides. UV absorbent floral guides are ubiquitous in Angiosperms, yet surprisingly little is known about conspecific variation in these guides and very few studies have evaluated pollinator response to UV guide manipulation. This is true despite our rich understanding about learning and color preferences in bees. Historical dog...

  10. Crop flower visitation by honeybees, bumblebees and solitary bees: behavioural differences and diversity responses to landscape

    OpenAIRE

    Woodcock, B. A.; Edwards, M.; Redhead, J; Meak, W.R.; Nuttall, P; Falk, S; Nowakowski, M.; Pywell, R.F.

    2013-01-01

    In Europe, oilseed rape is the principal crop used in the production of edible and renewable fuel oil products. Insect pollinators, in particular bees, have been shown to have a positive effect on the seed set of this crop. We undertook experiments looking at behavioural differences between honeybees, bumblebees and solitary bees visiting oilseed rape flowers, and related this to landscape scale responses in visitation rates. We found that behavioural differences between honeybees, bumblebees...

  11. Floral Resources Used by Euglossini Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in Coastal Ecosystems of the Atlantic Forest

    OpenAIRE

    Rocha-Filho, L. C.; Krug, C; C. I. Silva; C. A. Garófalo

    2012-01-01

    In spite of playing an important ecological role as pollinators of tropical ecosystems, orchid bees are still poorly known regarding their floral resources. Aiming at a better comprehension of the importance of different plants visited by the Euglossini and, consequently, their role in the maintenance and reproduction of plant species in tropical ecosystems, this study aimed at identifying the flowers visited by those bees in two different areas of the Atlantic Forest in the northern coast of...

  12. The long winter: the synergy between fluctuating thermal regime and quiescence physiology in the pollinator, Megachile rotundata

    Science.gov (United States)

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee Megachile rotundata (F.) is the primary pollinator for seed production in alfalfa and a number of specialty crops. Developing a more thorough understanding of M. rotundata low-temperature and diapause physiology is essential for the sustainable management of this key poll...

  13. Pollinator-mediated selection on nectary depth in Urophysa (Ranunculaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Sun

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Pollinator-mediated selection has been considered to be one of major factors that shapes the evolution of flowers by matching flowers to their pollinators on traits associated with attraction of pollinators or mechanical fit. The match between nectary depth, which means the length of the tubular structure formed in many plant species to hide the nectary and store nectar, and the mouthparts length of its major nectar-foraging pollinators has been repeatedly demonstrated as an example, because this trait have shown a positive relationship with pollen removal and deposition in experimental manipulations in many synpetalous plants and orchid family. However, it remains unclear how pollinator-mediated selection affects the evolution of nectary depth in choripetalous and actinomorphic flowers, such as most flowers in Ranunculaceae. Here we investigated floral characteristics and pollinators in Urophysa rockii Ulbr. and U. henryi (Oliv. Ulbr., as they are quite the same in habitat, anthesis and morphological characteristics except for nectary depth. Both of these species have flat white sepals and yellow petals each has a spatial structure at the base that contains nectar, but the nectary depth of U. rockii is deeper than that of U. henryi, for the former petals are shortly spurred about 3-4mm in length while the latter are saccate. Meanwhile, the flowers of both species are most frequently visited by Apis cerana, the Chinese honey bee, and one or two species of hover fly, Syrphidae, but only A. cerana was able to forage nectar in U. rockii while all visitors can forage nectar in U. henryi. A. cerana always lands on the center of a flower and projects its proboscis into each petal when its thorax touches anthers and stigmas. The difference between two species is that U. rockii was visited by A. cerana with a higher frequency, longer visiting time per flower and more activities on flowers than U. henryi. Besides, the petal width and its nectary depth of

  14. How to be an attractive male: floral dimorphism and attractiveness to pollinators in a dioecious plant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Waelti Marc O

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Sexual selection theory predicts that males are limited in their reproductive success by access to mates, whereas females are more limited by resources. In animal-pollinated plants, attraction of pollinators and successful pollination is crucial for reproductive success. In dioecious plant species, males should thus be selected to increase their attractiveness to pollinators by investing more than females in floral traits that enhance pollinator visitation. We tested the prediction of higher attractiveness of male flowers in the dioecious, moth-pollinated herb Silene latifolia, by investigating floral signals (floral display and fragrance and conducting behavioral experiments with the pollinator-moth, Hadena bicruris. Results As found in previous studies, male plants produced more but smaller flowers. Male flowers, however, emitted significantly larger amounts of scent than female flowers, especially of the pollinator-attracting compounds. In behavioral tests we showed that naïve pollinator-moths preferred male over female flowers, but this preference was only significant for male moths. Conclusion Our data suggest the evolution of dimorphic floral signals is shaped by sexual selection and pollinator preferences, causing sexual conflict in both plants and pollinators.

  15. Predominance of self-compatibility in hummingbird-pollinated plants in the Neotropics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolowski, Marina; Saad, Carolina Farias; Ashman, Tia-Lynn; Freitas, Leandro

    2013-01-01

    Both plant traits and plant-pollinator interactions are thought to influence plant mating systems. For hummingbird-pollinated plants, foraging strategy (territorial or traplining) is also expected to influence plant mating. We hypothesize that the traplining behavior of hermits promotes outcrossing, whereas the behavior of non-hermits favours self-incompatibility. Thus, selection is expected to maintain self-incompatibility in plants pollinated by non-hermits. We explore the incidence of self-incompatibility in Neotropical hummingbird-pollinated plants and its association with hummingbird behavior and plant traits. We conducted a literature review (56 species) and performed hand-pollination experiments in 27 hummingbird-pollinated plants in an Atlantic rainforest. We found that self-incompatibility (measured as pollinated plants. The interaction of hummingbird and habit type affected ISI, as did phylogenetic relationships. Specifically, herbs pollinated by non-hermits had higher ISI than woody plants pollinated by non-hermits, and herbs pollinated by both hermits and non-hermits. For the Atlantic rainforest plant guild, 30 % of the species were self-incompatible. ISI was higher in herbs than in woody species and increased with plant aggregation but was not dependent on foraging behavior, plant density, or floral display. Although hummingbirds differ in their foraging strategies, these behavioral differences seem to have only a minor influence on the incidence of self-incompatibility. Phylogenetic relatedness seems to be the strongest determinant of mating system in Neotropical hummingbird-pollinated plants.

  16. The impact of forest exploitation on Amazonian stingless bees (Apidae, Meliponini).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venturieri, G C

    2009-01-01

    The protocols available to sustainably exploit natural forest resources are known as "sustainable forest management". This type of management generally does not take into account the effect of timber exploitation on pollinators. Stingless bees, which include many species that play an important role as pollinators and are quite diverse in the Amazon, preferentially make their perennial nests in the base of hollow trees. Normally, during sustainable exploitation of trees, hollow trees are not cut down; however, predatory exploitation of such trees could severely affect natural populations of this pollinator group. PMID:19554767

  17. Shifts in pollinator population structure may jeopardize pollination service

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Encinas-Viso, Francisco; Revilla, Tomas A.; Etienne, Rampal S.

    2014-01-01

    Plant-pollinator interactions are among the best known and ubiquitous plant-animal mutualisms and are crucial for ecosystem functioning and the maintenance of biodiversity. Most pollinators are insects with several life-stages (e.g. egg, larva, pupa, adult) and the mutualistic interaction depends on

  18. Potential Effects of Oilseed Rape Expressing Oryzacystatin-1 (OC-1) and of Purified Insecticidal Proteins on Larvae of the Solitary Bee Osmia bicornis

    OpenAIRE

    Roger Konrad; Natalie Ferry; Angharad M. R. Gatehouse; Dirk Babendreier

    2008-01-01

    Despite their importance as pollinators in crops and wild plants, solitary bees have not previously been included in non-target testing of insect-resistant transgenic crop plants. Larvae of many solitary bees feed almost exclusively on pollen and thus could be highly exposed to transgene products expressed in the pollen. The potential effects of pollen from oilseed rape expressing the cysteine protease inhibitor oryzacystatin-1 (OC-1) were investigated on larvae of the solitary bee Osmia bico...

  19. Efficiency in pollen foraging by honey bees: Time, motion and pollen depletion on flowers of Sisyrinchium palmifolium Linnaeus (Asparagales: Iridaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Breno M. Freitas

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Honey bees depend on flower resources (nectar and pollen to supply individual and colony needs. Although behavioural studies already assessed optimum foraging patterns of bumblebees, honey bees foraging behavioural patterns have been poorly assessed. We used Sysirinchium palmifolium L. (Iridaceae, a low-growing, abundant and anthophilous grassland flower to test the hypotheses that Apis mellifera workers would i spend more time, ii visit a greater number of flowers, and iii travel greater distances within patches of S. palmifolium which were newly opened or not been visited by other pollinators when compared to foraging on patches that were available to pollinators during its whole blooming period (only one day. In two different sunny days, we measured bee activities in an area opened for visitation during the whole anthesis (OP plot treatment and another opened for visitation only half of anthesis (CL plot treatment. We observed bees spending more time, visiting more flowers and travelling more in S. palmifolium CL treatment than the OP plot treatment. Previous studies already showed bees alter their foraging behaviour in the lack of resources. Honey bees are able to remember the period of the day when resources are usually the higher, they probably detect the most promising period to gather resources on S. palmifolium flowers. Since A. mellifera is a pollinator with a wide-distribution and is considered an important cause of changes on native pollinator communities, we support additional studies evaluating its foraging behaviours to better understand how it explores flower resources.

  20. Generalist Behavior Describes Pollen Foraging for Perceived Oligolectic and Polylectic Bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritchie, Alan D; Ruppel, Rebecca; Jha, Shalene

    2016-08-01

    Native bees provide essential pollination services to cultivated and wild plants worldwide. Despite the need to conserve pollinators, the foraging patterns of native bees are poorly understood. Classic concepts of resource use have typically categorized bee species as specialists or generalists based on floral visitation patterns. While intraspecific variation in bee foraging likely depends on local land use, sex, and phenological period, among other factors, these potential drivers of floral visitation are rarely explicitly investigated. In this study, we explore the potential for inter- and intra-specific variation in floral visitation by investigating the pollen loads of two solitary, similarly sized, ground-nesting native bee species within the Apinae, Melissodes tepaneca (Cresson) and Diadasia rinconis (Cockerell), categorized as generalist and specialist based on past floral visitation studies, respectively. Our analyses reveal generalist foraging and indicate that natural habitat availability significantly drives pollen load composition for both species. The putative specialist, D. rinconis, exhibited significant differences in pollen load composition between males and females, between pan and net collection methods, and between the different phenological periods. The putative generalist, M. tepaneca, exhibited significant differences in pollen load composition between the sexes, but only in the late season. Both species exhibited significant preference levels for multiple native plant species across the study region. Given that pollen collection is essential for native bee population persistence across natural and human-dominated habitats, our findings suggest consideration of both pollen collection and floral visitation patterns to holistically describe floral usage and develop pollinator conservation strategies. PMID:27271950

  1. Cocaine tolerance in honey bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eirik Søvik

    Full Text Available Increasingly invertebrates are being used to investigate the molecular and cellular effects of drugs of abuse to explore basic mechanisms of addiction. However, in mammals the principle factors contributing to addiction are long-term adaptive responses to repeated drug use. Here we examined whether adaptive responses to cocaine are also seen in invertebrates using the honey bee model system. Repeated topical treatment with a low dose of cocaine rendered bees resistant to the deleterious motor effects of a higher cocaine dose, indicating the development of physiological tolerance to cocaine in bees. Cocaine inhibits biogenic amine reuptake transporters, but neither acute nor repeated cocaine treatments caused measurable changes in levels of biogenic amines measured in whole bee brains. Our data show clear short and long-term behavioural responses of bees to cocaine administration, but caution that, despite the small size of the bee brain, measures of biogenic amines conducted at the whole-brain level may not reveal neurochemical effects of the drug.

  2. Physico-Chemical Characteristics of Pollinated and Non Pollinated Date Fruit of District Khairpur, Sindh, Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wahid Bux Jatoi

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Elemental patterns are often used for the classification or identification of date fruit varieties. Five ripening stages of six date varieties were collected and studied from the pre ripening to the post ripening stage. Pollinated and non-pollinated date fruit of the same varieties were compared for their physical and chemical parameters. Physical parameters such as size, mass, colour, moisture, and pH were measured. In case of chemical characteristics the mineral composition of six different varieties of district Khairpur dates palm (Phoenix dactylifera L. fruit (Gorho, Asul Khurmo, Nur Aseel, Ghuray Wari, Toto, and Allah Wari were analysed using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS. Generally, size, moisture and mineral content of the pollinated fruit increased up to 3rd and 4th stage then declined.

  3. Generalization versus Specialization in Pollination Systems: Visitors, Thieves, and Pollinators of Hypoestes aristata (Acanthaceae)

    OpenAIRE

    Eliška Padyšáková; Michael Bartoš; Robert Tropek; Stěpán Janeček

    2013-01-01

    Many recent studies have suggested that the majority of animal-pollinated plants have a higher diversity of pollinators than that expected according to their pollination syndrome. This broad generalization, often based on pollination web data, has been challenged by the fact that some floral visitors recorded in pollination webs are ineffective pollinators. To contribute to this debate, and to obtain a contrast between visitors and pollinators, we studied insect and bird visitors to virgin fl...

  4. Do bees like Van Gogh's Sunflowers?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chittka, Lars; Walker, Julian

    2006-06-01

    Flower colours have evolved over 100 million years to address the colour vision of their bee pollinators. In a much more rapid process, cultural (and horticultural) evolution has produced images of flowers that stimulate aesthetic responses in human observers. The colour vision and analysis of visual patterns differ in several respects between humans and bees. Here, a behavioural ecologist and an installation artist present bumblebees with reproductions of paintings highly appreciated in Western society, such as Van Gogh's Sunflowers. We use this unconventional approach in the hope to raise awareness for between-species differences in visual perception, and to provoke thinking about the implications of biology in human aesthetics and the relationship between object representation and its biological connotations.

  5. Cancer Cell Growth Inhibitory Effect of Bee Venom via Increase of Death Receptor 3 Expression and Inactivation of NF-kappa B in NSCLC Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyung Eun Choi

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Our previous findings have demonstrated that bee venom (BV has anti-cancer activity in several cancer cells. However, the effects of BV on lung cancer cell growth have not been reported. Cell viability was determined with trypan blue uptake, soft agar formation as well as DAPI and TUNEL assay. Cell death related protein expression was determined with Western blotting. An EMSA was used for nuclear factor kappaB (NF-κB activity assay. BV (1–5 μg/mL inhibited growth of lung cancer cells by induction of apoptosis in a dose dependent manner in lung cancer cell lines A549 and NCI-H460. Consistent with apoptotic cell death, expression of DR3 and DR6 was significantly increased. However, deletion of DRs by small interfering RNA significantly reversed BV induced cell growth inhibitory effects. Expression of pro-apoptotic proteins (caspase-3 and Bax was concomitantly increased, but the NF-κB activity and expression of Bcl-2 were inhibited. A combination treatment of tumor necrosis factor (TNF-like weak inducer of apoptosis, TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand, docetaxel and cisplatin, with BV synergistically inhibited both A549 and NCI-H460 lung cancer cell growth with further down regulation of NF-κB activity. These results show that BV induces apoptotic cell death in lung cancer cells through the enhancement of DR3 expression and inhibition of NF-κB pathway.

  6. Effects of Long Distance Transportation on Honey Bee Physiology

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    Kiheung Ahn

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Despite the requirement of long distance transportation of honey bees used for pollination, we understand little how transportation affects honey bees. Three trials in three different states (CA, GA, and MI were conducted to study the effects of long distance transportation on honey bee physiology. Newly emerged bees from one colony were split into two groups and introduced into a transported (T colony or a stationary (S colony in each trial. Volumes of hypopharyngeal gland acini in T colonies were significantly smaller than S colonies in all three trials. There were no significant differences between S and T colonies in juvenile hormone titers. Protein content in head showed no significant differences between S and T either in 7-day-old or 17-day-old bees of MI trial, but GA trial showed a significant reduction in bees experiencing transportation. Protein content in thorax was only measured in GA trial and was not significantly different between the two groups. Lipid content in abdomen was not significantly different between the S and T colonies in all three trials. This study suggests that bees experiencing transportation have trouble fully developing their food glands and this might affect their ability to nurse the next generation of workers.

  7. Effects of pollination limitation and seed predation on female reproductive success of a deceptive orchid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Ryan P; Arnold, Paige M; Michaels, Helen J

    2014-01-01

    For many species of conservation significance, multiple factors limit reproduction. This research examines the contributions of plant height, number of flowers, number of stems, pollen limitation and seed predation to female reproductive success in the deceit-pollinated orchid, Cypripedium candidum. The deceptive pollination strategy employed by many orchids often results in high levels of pollen limitation. While increased floral display size may attract pollinators, C. candidum's multiple, synchronously flowering stems could promote selfing and also increase attack by weevil seed predators. To understand the joint impacts of mutualists and antagonists, we examined pollen limitation, seed predation and the effects of pollen source over two flowering seasons (2009 and 2011) in Ohio. In 2009, 36 pairs of plants size-matched by flower number, receiving either supplemental hand or open pollination, were scored for fruit maturation, mass of seeds and seed predation. Pollen supplementation increased proportion of flowers maturing into fruit, with 87 % fruit set when hand pollinated compared with 46 % for naturally pollinated flowers. Inflorescence height had a strong effect, as taller inflorescences had higher initial fruit set, while shorter stems had higher predation. Seed predation was seen in 73 % of all fruits. A parallel 2011 experiment that included a self-pollination treatment and excluded seed predators found initial and final fruit set were higher in the self and outcross pollination treatments than in the open-pollinated treatment. However, seed mass was higher in both open pollinated and outcross pollination treatments compared with hand self-pollinated. We found greater female reproductive success for taller flowering stems that simultaneously benefited from increased pollination and reduced seed predation. These studies suggest that this species is under strong reinforcing selection to increase allocation to flowering stem height. Our results may help

  8. Pollination ecology of the invasive tree tobacco Nicotiana glauca: comparisons across native and non-native ranges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeff Ollerton

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Interactions with pollinators are thought to play a significant role in determining whether plant species become invasive, and ecologically generalised species are predicted to be more likely to invade than more specialised species. Using published and unpublished data we assessed the floral biology and pollination ecology of the South American native Nicotiana glauca (Solanaceae which has become a significant invasive of semi-arid parts of the world. In regions where specialised bird pollinators are available, for example hummingbirds in California and sunbirds in South Africa and Israel, N. glauca interacts with these local pollinators and sets seed by both out-crossing and selfing. In areas where there are no such birds, such as the Canary Islands and Greece, abundant viable seed is set by selfing, facilitated by the shorter stigma-anther distance compared to plants in native populations. Surprisingly, in these areas without pollinating birds, the considerable nectar resources are only rarely exploited by other flower visitors such as bees or butterflies, either legitimately or by nectar robbing. We conclude that Nicotiana glauca is a successful invasive species outside of its native range, despite its functionally specialised hummingbird pollination system, because it has evolved to become more frequently self pollinating in areas where it is introduced. Its invasion success is not predictable from what is known of its interactions with pollinators in its home range.

  9. Testing Dose-Dependent Effects of the Nectar Alkaloid Anabasine on Trypanosome Parasite Loads in Adult Bumble Bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Winston E Anthony

    Full Text Available The impact of consuming biologically active compounds is often dose-dependent, where small quantities can be medicinal while larger doses are toxic. The consumption of plant secondary compounds can be toxic to herbivores in large doses, but can also improve survival in parasitized herbivores. In addition, recent studies have found that consuming nectar secondary compounds may decrease parasite loads in pollinators. However, the effect of compound dose on bee survival and parasite loads has not been assessed. To determine how secondary compound consumption affects survival and pathogen load in Bombus impatiens, we manipulated the presence of a common gut parasite, Crithidia bombi, and dietary concentration of anabasine, a nectar alkaloid produced by Nicotiana spp. using four concentrations naturally observed in floral nectar. We hypothesized that increased consumption of secondary compounds at concentrations found in nature would decrease survival of uninfected bees, but improve survival and ameliorate parasite loads in infected bees. We found medicinal effects of anabasine in infected bees; the high-anabasine diet decreased parasite loads and increased the probability of clearing the infection entirely. However, survival time was not affected by any level of anabasine concentration, or by interactive effects of anabasine concentration and infection. Crithidia infection reduced survival time by more than two days, but this effect was not significant. Our results support a medicinal role for anabasine at the highest concentration; moreover, we found no evidence for a survival-related cost of anabasine consumption across the concentration range found in nectar. Our results suggest that consuming anabasine at the higher levels of the natural range could reduce or clear pathogen loads without incurring costs for healthy bees.

  10. A piece of the puzzle: a method for comparing pollination quality and quantity across multiple species and reproductive events

    OpenAIRE

    ALONSO, CONCHITA; Herrera, Carlos M.; Ashman, Tia-Lynn

    2012-01-01

    • Understanding how pollination affects plant reproductive success and how changes in pollination service affect plant populations, communities and ecosystems is of increasing concern. Yet supplemental hand-pollination traditionally used to assess pollen limitation is prohibitive for large-scale comparative work. Moreover, it does not differentiate between quality and quantity aspects of pollen limitation, and it may suffer from confounds of post- pollination processes such as resource avai...

  11. Direct selection at the blossom level on floral reward by pollinators in a natural population of Dalechampia schottii: full-disclosure honesty?

    OpenAIRE

    Bolstad, G.; Armbruster, Scott; Pelabon, C.; Barrales, Rocio; Hansen, T.

    2010-01-01

    Both floral rewards and advertisements can be important in the attraction of pollinators, but few studies have separated the individual contributions of rewards and advertisements to fitness. • Here, we investigated selection by pollinators on individual blossoms in Dalechampia schottii. This Neotropical vine, endemic to the Yucatán Peninsula, rewards bees by secreting fully visible, deep-blue resin from a gland subtended by two conspicuous petaloid bracts that may play the role of advertisem...

  12. Winter survival of individual honey bees and honey bee colonies depends on level of Varroa destructor infestation.

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    Coby van Dooremalen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Recent elevated winter loss of honey bee colonies is a major concern. The presence of the mite Varroa destructor in colonies places an important pressure on bee health. V. destructor shortens the lifespan of individual bees, while long lifespan during winter is a primary requirement to survive until the next spring. We investigated in two subsequent years the effects of different levels of V. destructor infestation during the transition from short-lived summer bees to long-lived winter bees on the lifespan of individual bees and the survival of bee colonies during winter. Colonies treated earlier in the season to reduce V. destructor infestation during the development of winter bees were expected to have longer bee lifespan and higher colony survival after winter. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Mite infestation was reduced using acaricide treatments during different months (July, August, September, or not treated. We found that the number of capped brood cells decreased drastically between August and November, while at the same time, the lifespan of the bees (marked cohorts increased indicating the transition to winter bees. Low V. destructor infestation levels before and during the transition to winter bees resulted in an increase in lifespan of bees and higher colony survival compared to colonies that were not treated and that had higher infestation levels. A variety of stress-related factors could have contributed to the variation in longevity and winter survival that we found between years. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This study contributes to theory about the multiple causes for the recent elevated colony losses in honey bees. Our study shows the correlation between long lifespan of winter bees and colony loss in spring. Moreover, we show that colonies treated earlier in the season had reduced V. destructor infestation during the development of winter bees resulting in longer bee lifespan and higher colony survival after winter.

  13. Floral reward, advertisement and attractiveness to honey bees in dioecious Salix caprea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dötterl, Stefan; Glück, Ulrike; Jürgens, Andreas; Woodring, Joseph; Aas, Gregor

    2014-01-01

    In dioecious, zoophilous plants potential pollinators have to be attracted to both sexes and switch between individuals of both sexes for pollination to occur. It often has been suggested that males and females require different numbers of visits for maximum reproductive success because male fertility is more likely limited by access to mates, whereas female fertility is rather limited by resource availability. According to sexual selection theory, males therefore should invest more in pollinator attraction (advertisement, reward) than females. However, our knowledge on the sex specific investment in floral rewards and advertisement, and its effects on pollinator behaviour is limited. Here, we use an approach that includes chemical, spectrophotometric, and behavioural studies i) to elucidate differences in floral nectar reward and advertisement (visual, olfactory cues) in dioecious sallow, Salix caprea, ii) to determine the relative importance of visual and olfactory floral cues in attracting honey bee pollinators, and iii) to test for differential attractiveness of female and male inflorescence cues to honey bees. Nectar amount and sugar concentration are comparable, but sugar composition varies between the sexes. Olfactory sallow cues are more attractive to honey bees than visual cues; however, a combination of both cues elicits the strongest behavioural responses in bees. Male flowers are due to the yellow pollen more colourful and emit a higher amount of scent than females. Honey bees prefer the visual but not the olfactory display of males over those of females. In all, the data of our multifaceted study are consistent with the sexual selection theory and provide novel insights on how the model organism honey bee uses visual and olfactory floral cues for locating host plants. PMID:24676333

  14. Floral reward, advertisement and attractiveness to honey bees in dioecious Salix caprea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Dötterl

    Full Text Available In dioecious, zoophilous plants potential pollinators have to be attracted to both sexes and switch between individuals of both sexes for pollination to occur. It often has been suggested that males and females require different numbers of visits for maximum reproductive success because male fertility is more likely limited by access to mates, whereas female fertility is rather limited by resource availability. According to sexual selection theory, males therefore should invest more in pollinator attraction (advertisement, reward than females. However, our knowledge on the sex specific investment in floral rewards and advertisement, and its effects on pollinator behaviour is limited. Here, we use an approach that includes chemical, spectrophotometric, and behavioural studies i to elucidate differences in floral nectar reward and advertisement (visual, olfactory cues in dioecious sallow, Salix caprea, ii to determine the relative importance of visual and olfactory floral cues in attracting honey bee pollinators, and iii to test for differential attractiveness of female and male inflorescence cues to honey bees. Nectar amount and sugar concentration are comparable, but sugar composition varies between the sexes. Olfactory sallow cues are more attractive to honey bees than visual cues; however, a combination of both cues elicits the strongest behavioural responses in bees. Male flowers are due to the yellow pollen more colourful and emit a higher amount of scent than females. Honey bees prefer the visual but not the olfactory display of males over those of females. In all, the data of our multifaceted study are consistent with the sexual selection theory and provide novel insights on how the model organism honey bee uses visual and olfactory floral cues for locating host plants.

  15. An assessment of Osmia rufa (syn. bicornis) as a pollinator of the sour cherry (Prunus cerasus) cv. Stevnsbaer in eastern Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansted, Lise; Grout, Brian William Wilson; Toldam-Andersen, Torben Bo;

    2014-01-01

    The sour cherry (Prunus cerasus) cv. Stevnsbaer is self-fertile but it is recommended that bees are placed in the orchards during flowering. The solitary bee Osmia rufa can be managed, and has previously been suggested as an alternative pollinator to Apis mellifera, so consequently, this study....... The remaining 8 pollen types were from entomophilous plants. Based on the results it is estimated that a mean of 220,000 O. rufa cocoons would be needed per hectare if the species were to be an effective, supplementary pollinator of P. cerasus cv. Stevnsbaer. Practical, economic and environmental...

  16. Pollination biology of the urban populations of an ancient forest, spring ephemeral plant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maciej A. Ziemiański

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Habitat fragmentation, caused by, among all, agriculture and urbanization, is one of the most important drivers of plant biodiversity decline worldwide. One of the signs of deteriorating zoogamous plant reproduction is pollen limitation, often associated with a decline in pollinator diversity and abundance. Various authors predict that the most vulnerable taxa are outbreeding plant species characterized by specialist pollination systems. We have, therefore, focused on self-incompatible Corydalis solida, an ancient forest, spring ephemeral plant, growing in three remnant urban populations in the city of Warsaw (Poland. Over two years, we checked for pollen limitation and recorded insect diversity and abundance for C. solida flowers. Our study populations composed of self-incompatible individuals were mainly visited by generalist pollinators, and produced more seeds when supplementally pollinated. Pollen limitation, however, was greater during 1 year with an early spring onset, when we observed a decline in floral visitors diversity and activity. This was probably an effect of phenological mismatch between plants and their pollinators, in this case, mostly social bees, i.e., over-wintered bumblebee queens and Apis mellifera. We conclude that for outbreeding zoogamous spring ephemerals, such as C. solida serviced by generalist pollinators, changing climatic conditions may override the effects of habitat fragmentation and influence their reproductive success.

  17. Size and Sex-Dependent Shrinkage of Dutch Bees during One-and-a-Half Centuries of Land-Use Change.

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    Mikail O Oliveira

    Full Text Available Land-use change and global warming are important factors driving bee decline, but it is largely unknown whether these drivers have resulted in changes in the life-history traits of bees. Recent studies have shown a stronger population decline of large- than small-bodied bee species, suggesting there may have been selective pressure on large, but not on small species to become smaller. Here we test this hypothesis by analyzing trends in bee body size of 18 Dutch species over a 147-year period using specimens from entomological collections. Large-bodied female bees shrank significantly faster than small-bodied female bees (6.5% and 0.5% respectively between 1900 and 2010. Changes in temperature during the flight period of bees did not influence the size-dependent shrinkage of female bees. Male bees did not shrink significantly over the same time period. Our results could imply that under conditions of declining habitat quantity and quality it is advantageous for individuals to be smaller. The size and sex-dependent responses of bees point towards an evolutionary response but genetic studies are required to confirm this. The declining body size of the large bee species that currently dominate flower visitation of both wild plants and insect-pollinated crops may have negative consequences for pollination service delivery.